Many killed, houses burnt as soldiers, youths clash in Imo

INDIGENES of Izombe in the Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State said on Tuesday that the properties allegedly destroyed by soldiers in their community on Friday allegedly by soldiers were not less than N1bn.

The distraught indigenes, who spoke to our correspondent during a visit to the community, said the soldiers, who were on a reprisal, burnt no fewer than 80 houses, many cars and economic trees.

The soldiers attached to the 34 Artillery Brigade, Obinze, Owerri, had clashed with the youths of the community.

In the process, a youth was killed, two soldiers murdered, their vehicle burnt and three rifles snatched.

In a revenged mission, the army invaded the community in many vehicles, including Armoured Personnel Carriers and allegedly destroyed many properties.

The development caused the indigenes of the community, especially women and children, to flee the area.

A community leader, Chinedu Nnadi, told our correspondent that the damage the army had done to the community would not be addressed in the next 30 years.

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Nnadi, who is the pastor in charge of He Reigns Chapel, Owerri, told our correspondent that his people had become refugees in neighbouring communities.

A man, Kennedy Ike, whose house and that of his two children were razed during the operation, said his life had been “made miserable”.

The army spokesperson for the 34 artillery brigade, Obinze, Owerri, Joseph Akuga, said the military hierarchy in the state would address the press the issue.

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