"We were provoked, shot bullets, but killed nobody' - Nigerian Army
Barely 24 hours after the Nigerian Army began the militarization of the South East region, a team of soldiers in armoured tanks invaded the compound of Nnamdi Kanu, the secessionist activist leader shooting and reportedly, killing at least 5 youth.
According to a source familiar with the situation, the soldiers were on a mission to arrest Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB. However, Kanu got wind of this operation and left the compound.
The Nigerian soldiers are shown in a video which was first shared on Facebook by Somto Okonkwo on Sunday, September 10, 2017 evening, driving into the compound as youth resisted them.
The video shows soldiers shooting at the youth, who are holding sticks. One of the youth is shot and his compared attempt to apply first aid.
The Nigerian Army launched an operation called Python Dance II, in which it says it wants to rid the South East of militants and kidnappers.
Activists say that this operation is a cover for a premeditated genocide against the people of the South East.
Story continues after the video.
I condemn the raid on Nnamdi Kanu's home by the army. I call for restraint and I deplore the unprecedented violence that is being employed.
— Femi Fani-Kayode (@realFFK) September 10, 2017
‘5 People Were Killed, 30 Injured’ – IPOB
The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, reacting to the development on Sunday night, said that five people were feared dead and about 30 others injured the soldiers invaded Kanu’s family compound.
IPOB media and publicity secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful told Vanguard that the attackers wore army and police uniforms and drove into the palace of the traditional ruler of Afaraukwu, who is the father of Nnamdi and started shooting people.
‘We were provoked, shot bullets, but killed nobody’ – Nigerian Army
The Nigerian Army has denied killing any of the persons who confronted the military tanks. In an e-mailed response to The Trent, late on Sunday, signed by Major Oyegoke Gbadamosi, an assistant director of the Nigerian Army Public Relations in 14 Brigade.
“The attention of 14 Brigade Nigerian Army, has been drawn to fictitious news going round especially on the social media that troops have invaded the home of Nnamdi Kanu and killed 3 persons,” the statement said.
“This is far from the truth. Rather, it was a group of suspected IPOB militants that blocked the road against troops of 145 Battalion while on show of force along FMC-Word Bank Road in Umuahia town, Abia State at about 6.00-6.30pm, today.
“They insisted that the military vehicles would not pass and started pelting the soldiers with stones and broken bottles to the point of injuring an innocent female passerby and a soldier, Corporal Kolawole Mathew.
“The troops fired warning shots in the air and the hoodlums dispersed. No life was lost.
“Therefore the public are kindly enjoined to disregard the rumours going round and the fictitious photographs of purported victims of attack. Both the soldier and the innocent female passerby have been evacuated to the unit’s Medical Inspection Room and are receiving treatment.
“We would like to use this opportunity to warn mischief makers threatening the peace and security of the country through falsehood such as above.
“Members of the public are please requested to go about their lawful business and report any suspicious activity to the nearest police station or security outfit,” the statement said.
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This report has been updated to include statements from the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and the Nigerian Army.