Four persons have been confirmed dead and several others hospitalized with various degrees of injury after unknown gunmen invaded a market dominated by Hausa traders, popularly known as Abraka market. Some Hausa residents in Asaba, the capital of Delta State, claimed the attackers were members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Neither IPOB nor any other group has taken responsibility for the attack.

Yesterday, the Nigerian military declared IPOB, which is led by Nnamdi Kanu, a terrorist organization. The same day, the southeast Governors Forum issued a statement proscribing IPOB, warning members of the secessionist group to address their grievances through their representatives in the National Assembly or the pan-Igbo group, Ohaneze.

A leader of the Hausa community in Asaba, who asked to remain anonymous, blamed IPOB members for the attacks. He told a correspondent of SaharaReporters, “It happened about 11 p.m. on Friday. Over 20 armed members of IPOB invaded our mosque at Cable Point and threw an explosive into the mosque, but fortunately, it did not explode. At this juncture we raised alarm and the attackers all moved straight to the Hausa market, also called Abraka market, and killed four people.”

Another Hausa source, who simply identified himself simply as Usman, said the attackers came with guns and other dangerous weapons, adding that they shot sporadically into areas where he and others were sleeping, leaving three men and one woman dead, with several others wounded and now hospitalized.

“So many of us were saved by soldiers and policemen who received calls from us. Once they saw the security men, the attackers took to their heels. It was the security men who took the injured persons to the hospital for treatment and deposited the corpses of those killed at the mortuary,” said Usman. He added, “We heard that five persons were killed, but we have only seen four corpses.”

Contacted, the Delta State Commissioner of Police, Zanna Ibrahim, confirmed the development, adding that the situation was now under control. The police chief stated that the command had reinforced security in the areas mostly dominated by the Hausa and other non-indigenes, but said no arrest had been made so far. “It’s too premature to talk about arrest now,” said Mr. Ibrahim.

Delta State Commissioner of Police Ibrahim Zanna

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