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Six feared dead as gunmen, soldiers clash at APGA rally

At least six persons are feared dead in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State where the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) held its gubernatorial election rally on Tuesday. According to an eyewitness unknown gunmen stormed the Ordata Central School Ihiala, venue of the political rally at about 9.30 a.m. which resulted in an exchange of gun fire between the gunmen and the soldiers and police providing security.

Although the actual number of those killed and injured could not be ascertained, reports have it that about six persons may have died in the exchange of gun fire.T he Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, who confirmed the incident, said that one AK 47 rifle, two magazines and 30 rounds of live ammunition were recovered but could not confirm the number of deaths. The Anambra State Commissioner for Information Chief C Don Adinuba, who was at Ihiala, said that the police and Army repelled the gunmen. He said: “A combined team of policemen and soldiers this afternoon repelled an attack by unknown gunmen at Odoata Primary School, Ihiala, where the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) was scheduled to organise a campaign rally for the November 6 gubernatorial election in Anambra State.

“The gunmen came on various motorcycles and in three vehicles, namely, a Toyota Lexus 350 ES with registration number EKY 765 EX; Toyota RAV4 with number JJJ 434FP and a Ford van whose number could not as-certained at the time of this report because it caught fire during the exchange of bullets between the gunmen and security forces.

The gunmen, unable to withstand the superior fire power of the soldiers and police officers, quickly ran into the large premises of Our Lady of Lord’s Hospital which is directly opposite the campaign ground.” Security forces, who recovered all three vehicles and motorcycles used by the gunmen, were still searching the area at the time this report was filed.

The Anambra State Police Command has requested the people in the area to help look out for people with gunshot wounds and report them the authorities Meanwhile, the state Governor, Willie Obiano has commended police officers and soldiers who repelled the attack for their gallantry. In the same vein, Professor Charles Soludo, who lost three policemen guarding him when he was attacked on March 31 in his hometown of Isuofia, Aguata local Government Area while addressing the youth of the town, lauded the security forces for their bravery. Similarly the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) has asked both APGA and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to explain to the Anambra electorate why the security of lives and property is under threat in the state.

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