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Army, community disagree over “burnt” soldiers

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Nigerian Army

The Army and people of Iwuru community in Biase local government council of Cross River State, have differed on the alleged roasting of three soldiers in a petrol explosion from an accidental tanker.

A tanker loaded with petrol was on December 13, 2017 involved in a fatal accident littering its products by the roadside, while locals, who besieged the scene to fetch were reportedly restrained by some soldiers. In the ensuing confusion, the tanker exploded as three soldiers were allegedly burnt alongside some members of the community.

Eyewitnesses at the scene of the incident in Iwuru told some Journalists that “four soldiers were here trying to stop the people from getting the fuel, but unfortunately there was an explosion and two out of the four soldiers were roasted instantly.”

One of the eyewitnesses, Okon Ekpe said: “I am a commercial bike operator in Iwuru and the thing I saw that day was very shocking. As the soldiers tried to scare the people away, suddenly there was an explosion and two soldiers were roasted instantly, plus some persons from our community.”

As at Friday night two charred bodies that were still lying at the scene of the incident could not be identified, because the bodies were like charcoal burnt beyond recognition.

However, in a rejoinder on Friday to a story published in one of the national dailies, the Public Relations Officer of the 13 Brigade Nigerian Army, Captain Kayode  Owolabi said, the attention of the Headquarters 13 Brigade Nigerian Army has been drawn to a publication in the national daily stating “that three soldiers were among the six people burnt to death in Iwuru Biase local government council of the state on Wednesday night when a taker laden with petroleum product crashed and exploded along the Calabar – Ikom Highway.

“The paper added that the remains of the soldiers were lying on the highway at the time their reporter visited the scene. We can emphatically state that no soldier was involved in any highway fatal accident along the highway or within the Brigade’s area of responsibility. We want to add that there is no iota of truth in that report.  There is no way the Army would abandon the remains of her personnel on the road without taking them to the mortuary.”


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