Unknown armed men have unleashed terror on the residents of Okporo and its neighbouring communities in the Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State, killing five persons and burning shops.
A community leader whose identity is yet to be known was beheaded.
After beheading him, the armed men reportedly paraded his head on a table in a market in Okporo community.
It was learnt that the attack started on Sunday night and continued till Monday morning.
However, over twenty shops were completely destroyed and more than 10 vehicles were burnt.
The reason for the attack is not yet clear, but residents have blamed it on criminal gangs as well as native doctors that operate freely at night.
A hotel was also burnt by some unknown gunmen in security outfits in Orlu, Vanguard reports.
The hotel belonged to a businessman, Chinonso Uba.
According to report, Uba’s house was also burnt during the attack.
An eyewitness said the gunmen stormed the hotel with “two hilux vehicles, Mercedes 360, armoured car. They also burnt a brand new car belonging to Uba.”
A community source who spoke to Vanguard from Orlu said: “My brother, this is what we have been seeing since Sunday, Orlu is getting hot now. We are no longer sleeping. These criminals move freely in the night and they kill and destroy everything.
“Even this Monday morning, we heard of strange movements by these men in Okporo community and people started running. What is happening in Orlu is creating fears everywhere. These criminals started by beheading our people and now burning people’s homes. What do they want?
“When will all these attacks end? We are suffering in Orlu local government area and government should please send security operatives to us to end these attacks.
“Orlu deserves to be peaceful and people deserve to do their business peacefully. In a conducive environment, there will be development and people living in Orlu will be happy.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mike Abatam, said the police had earlier cordoned the forest of Njaba to check the activities of the hoodlums.