No fewer than three persons were feared dead on Friday as soldiers raided Izombe Community in Oguta LGA of Imo State.
It was also gathered that many houses, including the palace of the Traditional Ruler of the Aborshi-Izombe Community, Eze Pius Muforo, were burnt down.
Although the exact cause of the raid is still sketchy at the time of filing this report, news gathered that Izombe, Eziorsu and Osobodo Communities have been enmeshed in illegal oil bunkering operations.
Speaking on the development, a community leader from Umuokwu village of Izombe, Mr.James Imo, claimed that over 50 houses have been burnt down.
“I was told that two military officials were killed and their vehicle set ablaze after the two military personnel had killed one young man, Chukwunonso Iherue, in Umuokwu-Izombe.
“The problem began from a misunderstanding between the youths and soldiers over crude oil bunkering activities,” James submitted.
He alleged that the angry youths fought back, overpowering the soldiers, and as well took their guns and burnt their vehicle.
Mr.James said the military personnels ran to the palace of the Traditional Ruler for refuge, but the angry youths stormed the palace, brought them out, and killed them.
The news however gathered that the Traditional Ruler’s palace and many other buildings at Umuokwu village in Izombe were allegedly burnt down in the crisis.
Also, it was gathered that the incident led to a reinforcement of soldiers, who raided the area.
Another source, who pleaded anonymity, said: “I am calling from inside a hideout in the bush now.
“Some soldiers attacked our community in retaliation over 18 Hilux vans carrying petrol and three war tanks.
“My cousin living next to our compound told me that her house was burnt down after which the soldiers went and burnt down Chief C.A. Onyeukwu’s building,” the source said.
Meanwhile, all efforts to get a confirmation of the incident from the Public Relations Officers of the Police and Nigeria Army proved abortive as they both declined comments on the incident.