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2 dead, 15 held hostage as Delta communities clash

UGHELLI—A clash between Uwheru and Unenurhe communities of Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State over the murder of a youth from Uwheru, weekend, reportedly claimed the lives of two people with several others sustaining various degrees of gunshot and machete wounds.

It took the intervention of policemen from the Ughelli Area Command and soldiers drafted from the 222 Battalion of Operation Delta Safe, to stop the situation from snowballing into a full scale war as armed youths from both communities were set for total showdown.

Sources at the community told Vanguard that, at least, two persons from both sides were said to have lost their lives, while several others sustained various degrees of injuries while the melee lasted.

“About 15 indigenes from Unenurhe community, who had gone to farm or embarked on commercial activity at the Uwheru Market, are being held hostage,” President General of Unenurhe community, Chief Felix Edjereki told Vanguard when contacted.

Giving details on the cause of the clash, Chief Edjereki said: “From information available to me, they said an indigene of Uwheru community died mysteriously and was buried at Unenurhe, according to reports from an oracle they consulted.

“They started by attacking indigenes of Unenurhe community, who had gone to Uwheru to trade and farm.

“While I was trying to grapple with the situation, I got information that over 500 Uwheru youths are mobilising to Unenurhe singing war songs.

“Before I realised what was happening, the youths had already invaded Unenurhe, shooting sporadically and unleashing mayhem on indigenes of my community.

“As I speak with you, at least seven persons are unaccounted for, four of those held hostage have been released, while 11 are still held back, while one of those injured has been rushed to the Delta State University Teaching Hospital, DELSUTH, Oghara.”

I tried to stop them—Uwheru community leader

Confirming the incident, President General of Uwheru community, Chief Ogarivi Utso, said: “Though I tried to calm the youths, who were already agitated for a showdown, they rebuffed my efforts and even threatened to unleash mayhem on me.

“Unfortunately, one of our boys was killed during the incident, while two others are currently receiving medical attention at DELSUTH, Oghara.”

We know nothing—Police

Contacted, the state’s Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Andrew Aniamaka, said he has not been briefed on the incident and promised to get more details on the clash.

However, he was yet to do so at press time.

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