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The ongoing crisis between Anaku and Omor communities in the Ayamelum Local Government Area of Anambra State has taken a new dimension after an attack allegedly carried out by soldiers in revenge for their missing colleague.
The Eastern Updates reports that Anaku and Omor communities have been enmeshed in a land dispute.
The crisis erupted again within the week when six people were allegedly killed and six others abducted in Omor.
Reporters who visited the community, many of the villagers had fled for fear of being killed.
While it was not clear how soldiers got involved in the latest crisis, sources said one of the soldiers deployed in the area went missing, prompting his colleagues to launch a reprisal.
A source in Anaku on Friday said the community was littered with corpses, adding that many houses were set ablaze.
He noted that five trucks loaded with soldiers had been patrolling the area since the beginning of the week.
The source said there was hardly a family that was not affected in the latest arson in Anaku, adding that as of Thursday, many people were still packing their things out of the town.
A resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, ‘One of the community members was dragged out of his house and the house set ablaze. Anaku Town Hall was also burnt. The entire community fled to Nando in Anambra East LGA, Awkuzu, in Oyi LGA, while many ran to Onitsha. Many of our people are now hanging around community squares in those communities.
‘We thought the soldiers came to make peace, but we found them burning our houses and property. All the men in the community have fled. We just come into the village to harvest cassava and go back.
‘In fact, some of the houses are still burning and many people are packing the household property they can salvage. There is fear everywhere. The entire community is deserted. Shrines were also not spared, as many of them were burnt. A woman was shot and her body brought into her house and set ablaze. She was still burning as of yesterday.
‘An 80-year-old blind man, Egwuatu Nonyelu, who was a carpenter before he lost his sight, was shot in his house and set ablaze. The community’s skill acquisition centre with all the equipment contained therein was also not spared.’
Another member of the community, Mr Titus Izuogu, said, ‘I suspect that the soldiers were brought by our neighbouring community, which has been having a land dispute with us.’
The spokesman for the Anambra State Police Command, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, said it was a military affair and he could not comment on it.