Christians returning from New Year midnight church services were shot at by gunmen in the early hours of Monday (1 January 2018) in Rivers State, in the country’s oil-rich Niger-Delta region, eyewitnesses state.
A police source said that the total number of casualties is not yet confirmed, but at least 14 people were killed at the scene. Twelve victims were rushed to the hospital, and there are some reports that three of the injured have now died. The simultaneous attacks occurred at two different locations, the Kirigani and Oboh areas of Aligu community in Omoku town.
These areas have experienced persistent cult-related violence, and a notable politician has blamed the attack on a power struggle between local “cult groups.” The state government has offered a reward for more information on the attackers.
The Rivers State police spokesperson announced that they have “launched a manhunt for the bandits to ensure they are arrested and prosecuted … The deputy commissioner of police in charge of operation and other tactical heads have been mobilised there to restore peace.”