PALPABLE fear enveloped Idah, headquarters of Idah Local Government Area of Kogi State, as no fewer than 13 persons were killed during clashes by rival cult groups in the town.
At the end of the clashes, which was said to have started on Friday and lasted till Sunday morning, two women and 11 men were either shot dead or sustain injuries as a result of machete cut.
It was gathered that trouble started on Friday night when some group of boys invaded the town and shot one Danjuma Amodu, popularly called Murphy.
The boy was said to have been gunned down while relaxing in front of his family house at GRA by the cult group members, who also butchered his body.
When the news of Amodu’s death filtered through the town, some fully armed men believed to be members of his group were said to have mobilised for reprisal and held the town hostage for several hours.
Nigerian Tribune further learnt that the men drove in a Volkswagen Golf car and shot sporadically for several hours, while they searched various spots for their targets.
The gunmen were reported to have blocked the road between Ibro Junction and Bishop road Junction between the hours of 8.00 a.m. and 10.00 a.m. from where they proceeded to a drinking joint at Igalaogba looking for their targets.
Sources said the owner of the joint, Haruna Achema and his wife were shot and left critically injured, while one customer was shot dead by the cult group.
At least eight persons were said to have been killed at Idah waterside, while another woman was reportedly hit by stray bullet as she was attempting to escape from the scene of the attack.
However, a detachment of military personnel had been deployed in the town and were patrolling major streets to ensure safety of lives and properties.
Confirming the development, the state Police Commissioner, Mr Yakubu Usman, said men of the command were already on the trail of the perpetrators, while promising to fish them out.
He explained that a 27-year-old man was shot on Saturday by some gunmen in the area, adding that his remains were taken to the police station with the cult group resisting the police.
He said a gun duel ensued between his men and the gunmen, following which a policeman was wounded.
He said as the gunmen were attempting to escape after the gun duel, they also hit three innocent persons who were rushed to hospital