By Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
Barely three days after a police officer and three others were reportedly killed in Abraka, Ethiope East Local Government of Delta State by nomadic herdsmen, were four persons on Friday shot dead in Ossiasa community in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of the state.
THISDAY gathered that the attack took place early on Friday when the assailants allegedly blocked the road and shot at the victims.
Sources however said that it must be a reprisal attack on the community over the killing of their kinsmen recently.
Â The heavily armed herdsmen were said to have stormed Ossiasa village blocking the Ogwashi-uku/Kwale expressway in the early hours of Friday.
Traffic was held for hours as motorist and traders traveling from the southern part of the state and those in the opposite direction had to park their vehicles.
The sporadic shooting of the herdsmen were however countered by youths from the community, just as villagers had to run into the bush for safety.
State police spokesman, Mr. Andrew Aniamaka, said that no arrest had been made as at the time of filing this report, butÂ added that the situation had been brought under manageable control following reinforcement of security operatives.
DSP Aniamaka said that he could not confirm the reported death of four persons, saying the state police command was awaiting update on the crisis. Â
Only last Tuesday, four policemen were attacked in an ambush by herdsmen in Abraka, one of them was killed while three others were seriously injured.
According to Aniamaka, members of the patrol team were from Abraka Police Division and the incident occurred along the Railway Line in Abraka.
According to the report, the patrol van used on routine surveillance of the area on Tuesday evening was suddenly attacked by suspected Fulani herdsmen, catching the policemen unawares with a hail of bullets, leading to the death of the inspector.
The policemen were said to have panicked at the sudden attack, leaving them practically helpless and unable to give the suspected herdsmen a fight or respond with any firepower of their own.Â
One of the police officers died on the spot with no one to rescue him as others reportedly abandoned the ill-fated patrol van and scampered for safety but not without bullet wounds.
However, the injured are currently receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital in the area.Â
Aniamaka, a deputy superintendent of police (DSP) who confirmed the report yesterday, described the incident as unfortunate.
According to him, “Our men were ambushed around the Railway Line in Abraka and they opened fire on them, and it was so spontaneous that our men did not have the time to ward off the attack.
“We lost an Inspector of Police and some others were injured and are currently receiving treatment in the hospital. That is the situation of things; we are still on the trail of those who committed the dastardly act.”