Fight broke out between policemen and some people suspected to be members of the Movement for the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) in Asaba on Monday, eyewitnesses said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that the incident occurred along Anwai Road in the city when MASSOB members were marching to demand for the independence of Biafra. Witnesses said some persons, including policemen, injured in the fracas, were taken to the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba.
A nurse at the FMC, who pleaded anonymity, confirmed to NAN that some of the injured were brought to the hospital.
An eyewitness, Mr Uche Okelue, told NAN that the fracas broke out after a police team threw teargas at the marchers in an effort to disperse them.
“The police used teargas on the MASSOB people as they were protesting along Anwai Road this morning, so the people got angry and attacked the policemen with knives and broken bottles.
“They caught one policeman, beat him up before stabbing him to death; it was a fierce confrontation as everyone ran in different directions,” Okelue said. Another eyewitness, Mr Ben Onwordi, told NAN that another fight between the police and MASSOB members at the popular Mammy Market Junction on Nnebisi Road, Asaba.
“As the group were protesting, the police patrol vehicle came behind them and tried to disperse them but the MASSOB people resisted and in the process they clashed and many people were injured.
“The MASSOB people damaged the police patrol vehicle, vandalising the windscreen and doors before all of them fled into different directions,” Onwordi said.
NAN further learnt that another clash occurred at the River Niger Bridge on the border between Delta and Anambra states when some MASSOB members tried to conduct a similar rally.
A police source who pleaded anonymity told NAN that MASSOB members had attacked some policemen at the bridge head, overpowering two of them, before throwing them into the river.
“We have been able to retrieve one of them from the river. He was brought out in an unconscious mood and rushed to the hospital, however, the second victim is still missing,” he said.
When contacted, the spokesperson for the Police Command in Delta, Mr Charles Mouka, a Superintendent of Police, said the police were still monitoring the situation.
“We are still waiting for information on the incident. As I speak to you now, we are in the field, so I cannot say anything for now,” Mouka said.