By Ikeugonna Eleke
Police in Anambra State have confirmed the clash of two criminal gangs in Ihiala, Anambra State, Friday, June 17.
A viral video on social media had shown some rifle wielding young men in a convoy of assorted cars, carrying some dead bodies.
In his reaction to the video, the Anambra State Police Command, speaking through its spokesperson, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, said the two gangs clashed at a burial ceremony, while one gang was trying to collect levy from the family of the deceased for the burial to hold.
Ikenga said, ‘We have reinforced Ihiala and its environs following a trending video of SUVs and Hilux vehicles carrying young men that are welding arms to a yet unidentified location.
‘Information from eyewitness accounts shows that a violent clash ensued between two criminal gang and further details confirmed the killing of one Innocent Obieke, a.k.a. Double Lion, and three others.
‘Double Lion has been on the police wanted list and has featured in attacks on police formations, military locations and other government infrastructure.
‘Meanwhile, police patrol is ongoing in the area and the situation is being monitored.’
Sources in Ihiala however said the clash was between criminals known as Unknown Gun Men and members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra.
‘An eyewitness said, ‘It is true. The incident happened at Akwa Village in Ihiala during a clash between IPOB and Unknown Gun Men.
‘The gunmen have a camp at a place called Oseakwa from where they have been terrorizing Ihiala, Okija, Uli and other neighbouring communities.
‘For some time, the gunmen have been disrupting burials and demanding to be settled before any ceremony is organized. They are also the group that has been kidnapping people and snatching cars.
‘On June 17, IPOB swooped on the gunmen in their camp and five people were killed during the shootout. IPOB operatives loaded the corpses in a Hilux van and paraded them round the villages,’ the source said.