Residents of Akpawfu community in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State on Friday fled from their homes when men of the Nigerian Army allegedly invaded the community.
It was gathered the operation followed the killing of some policemen at checkpoints in nearby communities in the area on Wednesday night.
The soldiers reportedly took over the community as early as 4 am on Friday, searching all houses and arresting scores of youths and able bodied men.
Gunmen spotting police uniforms on Wednesday night attacked two checkpoints located at Obeagu Uno shortly after Inyaba Bridge along Obeagu Uno-Amodu – Umueze Amechi road and Amagunze, on the outskirts of Enugu metropolis.
No fewer than five policemen were reportedly killed during the attack that also three passersby dead, including a pastor and young lady.
The gunmen, who were said to operated with two hilux vans and one Camry car, set ablaze a Hilux operational vehicle belonging to the policemen and allegedly carted away weapons of the security operatives during the attack.
Journalists gathered the soldiers, numbering over 40, came in four armoured personnel carriers and other operational vehicles positioned in strategic places within the community, particularly Agudene village.
Sources said the soldiers accused the villagers of harbouring the gunmen before the attack.
But the villagers argued the gunmen who carried out the attack came to the community from nearby Akpugo town, pointing out one of their Hilux vans summersaulted near St Philip Catholic Church, Akpawfu.
In order not to leave any trace behind, the gunmen were said to have set the vehicle ablaze, attracting attention of security operatives to the community.
The operation by the soldiers, it was learnt, turned the once peaceful community into a ghost town.
Attempts to speak with the Deputy Director Army Public Relations, 82 DV, Enugu, Col. Abubakar Abdullahi, were not successful as his phone rang out without response.
He also did not respond to text messages as at the time of filing this report.
Credit: The Nation