SOLDIERS KILL EIGHT SUSPECTED CULTISTS, RESCUE FIVE IN RIVERS
No fewer than eight persons suspected to be members of the Icelander cult group were on Sunday allegedly shot dead in Obelle community in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State by the military in a shootout.
Moreover, five persons, who were allegedly abducted by the same cultists at the weekend in Elele metropolis in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state, have regained their freedom.
It was gathered that the army recorded the feat Sunday after trailing the bandits to their camp in Obelle community, following the spate of cult killings and other criminal activities threatening the peace of the community and environs.
According to a source from the community, gun duel ensued when the cultists, who fled the neighbouring Ibaa community and camped in Obelle, opened fire on sighting the soldiers. It was further gathered that the soldiers reinforced and pursued the gunmen under heavy gunfire into the Obelle-Elele forest, gunning down the eight of the suspects.
The source said that when the cultists lost their grip of the community, five out of the six hostages escaped from their den. The kidnap victims, it was gathered, were ambushed by suspected cultists in Port Harcourt, and reportedly whisked away six persons at gunpoint into a forest in the area.
Meanwhile, the 2 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, has destroyed three camps belonging to suspected cultists in Ibaa and Obelle communities in Emohua LGA.
This was contained in a statement issued on Monday by the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, 2 Brigade of Nigerian Army, Captain Eli Lazarus, saying that five persons were killed.
Lazarus said the operation followed a tip off on the hideout of the cultists in the communities, adding that two pump action rifles and 26 phones were also recovered during the raid.
He assured that the current operation against cultists and other criminals in the state would be sustained to safeguard lives and property of members of the public.