Troops of 6 Division, Nigerian Army on Wednesday shot dead five suspected cultists during gun battle in Omoku, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers.
General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division, Port Harcourt, Maj.-Gen. Kasimu Abdulkarim, who confirmed the killings, said the battle was part of “Operation Cleanup” of cultists and militants terrorising residents.
According to him, troops have so far recovered five AK 47 assault rifles from cultists in the area since January 1.
“Army 6 Division has recorded appreciable successes in its bid to rid the local government of cultists and brigands,” Abdulkarim added.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), gathered from community sources that the incident started when troops stormed the area after receiving distress call over the cultists.
Eyewitness account said the suspected cultists invaded Omoku town on Tuesday night and shot dead two unidentified young men before making attempt to escape.
“After killing the men, they shot sporadically before soldiers closed in on them”, an eyewitness said.
NAN recalls the division recently launched a major operation in the area shortly after a DSP Mohammed Alkali and his orderly were beheaded by cultists during the Dec. 10 legislative elections in the state.