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Killing of SARS officer: Oyigbo area of Port Harcourt deserted following mass arrests, alleged killings

Distress calls continue to come from Obigbo in Oyigbo local council of Rivers State alleging mass arrests and killing of persons. The police only confirmed arrest of 22 persons following killing of a Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) operative on the eve of Independence anniversary.

Information coming from Oyigbo indicates that most residents have moved out of the area following mass arrests. A source in area told newsmen Saturday that there seemed to be a show of strength since the alleged killing in cold blood of the officer during the week by unidentified persons.

The sources claimed that the ancient town was taken unaware by a combined team of SARS, Anti-Cultism, and other tactical squads that invaded the community shooting and arresting anybody at sight.

By Saturday evening, most residents of the area were yet to come out of their houses since the previous day while many others were said to have fled to neigbouring towns. An eye witness who gave his name as John Okoh, a resident of the area, said the area was completely taken over by different squad officials who came in their thousands ostensibly to maintain the law. The residents however believed the security operatives were there to kill them.

The police spokesman, Nnamdi Omoni, told newsmen the men had stabilized Oyigbo areas, saying rampaging youths had not only killed an officer but sacked the Oyigbo police station and also burnt patrol vehicle, unprovoked.

Residents however said they were being harassed and terrorized by the security teams. The source said; “We were all relaxing outside when we suddenly heard gun shots; people were crying just like a war zone”.

The source said those who may have killed the SARS personnel would have fled the area for fear of possible attacks from the police authorities. In situations such as this, he stated, most victims of the crossfire are the innocent ones. The source called on relevant authorities to come to their aid so as to stop the killings ongoing in Oyigbo.

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