Officers of the Nigerian army have killed five cultists who engaged them in a fierce gun battle on Sunday, June 12, The Punch reports.
The cult members who were reportedly members of the Icelander cult were said to have been trailed to their hideout in Obelle, a community in Emohua local government area of Rivers state, and gunned down during a gun duel.
Following the incident, five people who had been kidnapped by the same cultists on Friday around Elele Town in Ikwerre LG area of the state, were able to regain their freedom.
According to a source in the embattled community, when the soldiers entered the community in search of the cultists who fled Ibaa community to build a new camp in Obelle, the fraternity members were said to have opened fire on the military men but they (soldiers) had to call for reinforcement before going after the hoodlums.
The Punch reports further that the cultists had ambushed a commercial bus en route to Port Harcourt from Anambra state last Friday, kidnapping six people at gunpoint and taking them into a forest in the area, a situation which made the soldiers go after them.
Felix Uche, one of the people who escaped from the kidnappers’ enclave, disclosed that they were released following the incursion of the military into the camp of the suspected cult gang.
“They tied our hands, our mouth and our legs; they also used candle stick light to burn our flesh. We were there without food and water.
“They forced us to call our relatives so that they will bring ransom for our release, but when they heard serious gunshots from the soldiers around the forest where we were held hostage, they decided to free us and then ran for their lives,” the freed man explained.
He narrated further, how the sixth victim was thoroughly beaten by the kidnappers after he attempted to escape earlier.
Captain Eli Lazarus, the assistant director Army public relations, 2 Brigade, Port Harcourt, when contacted, noted that five cultists were killed and two criminal camps destroyed.
He also explained that the raid was in continuation of its operation against cultists and criminal gangs in the state.
In a recent gruesome attack by some cultists, seven people were attacked and killed at the Federal University of Agriculture (FUAM) in Makurdi area of Benue state.
According to Daily Trust, six of the deceased were students of FUAM who were living in a private lodge within the university vicinity known as Shammah hostel. The last person was a private guard of the lodge.
The attack which occurred on Tuesday, June 7, was suspected to be the work of cultists who attacked the students with guns. One of the deceased was found along a path leading to the hostel while five others were found in a room.