From Obinna Odogwu, Awka

Gunmen on Saturday invaded the venue of a burial ceremony in Ndimgbu village, Nnewi and abducted a member of the vigilance group in the area.

According to eyewitnesses, the hoodlums released gunshots in the air to scare the mourners; before whisking away their target while others scampered to safety.

This came about two weeks after suspected cultists attacked the venue of a funeral rite in Ebenebe community, Awka North Local Government Area and killed more than 15 people.

In a related development, gunmen also attacked the vigilante office in Utuh community, Nnewi South Local Government Area, setting it on fire. They abducted one of their staff members and equally set their vehicle ablaze.

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It was not clear if it was the same group of gunmen that attacked Nnewi that equally attacked Utuh.

Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Toochukwu Ikenga, in a statement, confirmed the ugly developments, saying that the Commissioner of Police, Echeng Echeng, has ordered a manhunt on the armed men.

‘The operatives comprising Police Mobile Force, Counter Terrorism Unit, Special Forces and others are already in the area and normalcy has been restored while operations are still going on.

‘Although no notification was given to the police about the planned burial, information reveals that the vigilante groups were invited. Further details revealed that the miscreants started shooting sporadically in an attempt to disarm the vigilante operatives,’ the statement reads.