12 killed, 18 hospitalized in communal clash
The lingering communal clash between Ebom, Usumutong and Ebijakara communities in Abi Local Government Area of Cross River State broke out again in the early hours of yesterday following an alleged attack on the Ebom community, leaving 12 persons dead and 18 hospitalized.
It was gathered that the attack started at about 5:00 a.m. on Thursday, resulting in the death of many, while several houses were burnt. An eyewitness alleged that the invaders had moved from house to house, attacking residents.
The Cross River State Commissioner of Police, Nkereuwem Akpan, confirmed the incident. He, however, said he did not have the casualty figure or the number of houses razed, adding that policemen have been deployed to the affected areas.
According to an eyewitness from Ebom community, Chief Sunday Egbo, who spoke to The Guardian from his hiding place, “Usumutong people invaded our community at about 5:00 a.m. killing and burning houses.
“They killed some of our youths. One of our sons, Owan, was killed too. They burned so many houses. As I am talking to you, I am just hiding somewhere. The whole of that area is under attack, they are now advancing, we are helpless, and we are calling on the government to intervene before they kill us all.”
Also speaking with tears, Mrs. Lydia Enya, from Ebom, said: “The situation on the ground is that the enemies with hired machineries are in our village striking right now. So many of our houses are on fire and about 12 persons have died and 18 hospitalized in nearby clinics. We don’t know the cause or what we have done to them.”
The police boss called for dialogue to resolve the recurrent conflicts among the warring communities in the state.
Efforts to reach chieftains of the neighbouring community proved abortive as those contacted refused to comment on the issue because they were not permitted to speak for the community.
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