Unknown gunmen have caused a stampede among members of St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Amakohia in Owerri, the Imo State capital, during Mass celebration.
The gunmen were matching on the street of Amakohia/Orlu road in their numbers, wearing black attires and masks.
According to our state correspondent, they were matching freely and shooting sporadically in the air to scare people away including the police and army.
The parade caused serious stampede both at the church and Amakohia modern market as people scampered for safety.
However, the church gate was immediately locked to prevent the gun-wielding men from gaining entrance into the premises.
The parade lasted for about 40 minutes and caused motorists and pedestrians to use alternative routes to their destinations.
Further reports said the gunmen were also spotted at Orji axis of Owerri and Spibat road, where they shot continuously in the air.
Earlier, the gunmen have razed the country home of Imo Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Chief Declan Emelumba in Oru East Local Government Area.
The incident, which occurred around, 1 am on Sunday, destroyed all property in the Commissioner’s residence.
According to sources, the gunmen broke down his gate and set the house on fire without any hindrance.
Meanwhile, the Police in Imo State confirmed the incident.
The police said they repelled another attempt by unknown gunmen to attack the command’s headquarters in Owerri, the state capital, on Sunday,
Five of the dozens of attackers were eliminated in a gun duel.
Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, in a statement confirmed the officers recorded no casualty in the battle.
The spokesman said the gunmen made efforts to access the police headquarters through the Works Layout around Avan Nursery and Primary School but were pushed back.
“They came in a white Hummer Bus, five of the hoodlums were killed during an exchange of fire and others were injured.
“The Hummer bus was recovered with four Ak47 rifles previously stolen from the police during a recent attack on its station”, Elkana added.
Security operatives have been deployed to apprehend the fleeing hoodlums.