Troops of the Nigerian Army are currently battling gunmen suspected to be operatives of the Eastern Security Network in Nsukka town of Enugu State.
SaharaReporters learnt that there has been apprehension in certain parts of the town since Wednesday.
It was learnt that the military took the battle to suspected ESN operatives where they believed they were hiding.
A source in the area said there is tension while the gun battle rages on.
According to the source, many people have abandoned their houses and fled to neighbouring communities.
“Soldiers of the Nigerian Army are currently locked in a gun battle with ESN boys in Nsukka. They have been clashing since yesterday evening and some parts of the town are still tense. Heavy shooting presently going on,” he stated.
SaharaReporters had on Tuesday reported that eight persons were killed after Fulani herdsmen and operatives of the ESN had a violent clash in Adani area in the Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State.
SaharaReporters had stated that the ESN operatives came to support the Igga community who were being allegedly attacked by the rampaging herdsmen in their farms and houses.
Eyewitnesses had narrated that trouble started on Sunday when some Fulani herdsmen shot a member of the community on his farm and also blocked sympathisers from taking the victim to hospital.
“It was the refusal of the Fulani herdsmen to prevent the wounded farmer from being rushed to hospital that triggered angry reactions from residents, who called the attention of some members of the Eastern Security Network to the assault.
“It led to a terrible, bloody showdown between the herders and the ESN. Eight persons were killed. I cannot say if they were herdsmen or villagers,” the source had added.
Another source explained that while the herdsmen formed a barricade to prevent the young farmer from being rushed to hospital, the ESN operatives came on motorcycles and shot at the crowd of people barricading the injured farmer.
“After that episode played out, a mosque was also razed by angry youths in the community leading to many residents of Adani, an agricultural community, fleeing the area to neighbouring communities in Nsukka and Igboetiti local government areas,” he said.
Some of the fleeing Adani residents explained that the ESN operatives were in bushes and sighted by hunters and local vigilantes searching for the Fulani herdsmen and their cattle – a situation which had led to tension in the area.
The residents noted that they feared the herdsmen might be planning to stage a reprisal.
SaharaReporters, New York