At least three people have been murdered and 15 homes, including the traditional ruler’s palace in Aborshi Izombe Community in Imo’s Oguta Local Government Area, have been destroyed.
Witnesses accused troops of acting in retaliation for the event.
The troops were reported to be enraged after the assassination of two of their comrades by Izombe teenagers.
According to a witness, youths were protesting the alleged assassination of a young guy identified as Chukwunoso Iherue, a resident of Umuokwu Izombe, Oguta LGA.
Another community source informed our reporter that troops and teenagers were involved in a struggle for dominance over oil bunkering in the neighbourhood.
“I was told that two military personnel were murdered and their car set on fire this morning in Umuokwu Izombe, Oguta Local Government Area of Imo,” the source added.
“The issue occurred as a result of a miscommunication between the youngsters and troops about crude oil bunkering. Recently, Oguta’s Izombe, Eziorsu, and Osobod villages have become well-known for their bunkering operations. Civilians, as well as security personnel, are all engaged in the unlawful enterprise.
“According to reports, the troops murdered one Chukwunoso Iherue before the youngsters fought back, prompting the military men to assault HRH Eze Pius Muforo’s residence in Aborshi Izombe Community, where they were attacked.
“According to the latest report, troops have set fire to HRH Eze Muforo’s palace and two others in Umuokwu Izombe.
“In 18 Hilux vehicles carrying fuel and three battle tanks, the troops assaulted the village. My cousin, who lives adjacent to our property, informed me that her home was set on fire, and the troops then proceeded to set fire to Chief C A Onyeukwu’s properties.”
When reached, Capt Joseph Akubo, spokesman for the 34 Artillery Brigade, said that he had not received a clear picture of what occurred.
He vowed to return but has not done so as of the filing of this report.