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Five die in P’Harcourt stampede after twin explosions



P'Harcourt stampede

…Pandemonium in Lagos market as traders, hoodlums shootout
…Community invasion throws Niger residents in fear

MANY people are feared dead with many more variously wounded during a stampede that broke out among residents of Obirikwere area along East West Road in Port Harcourt, River State, yesterday afternoon.

  Although no official account of casualties was made available, eyewitnesses said more than five corpses were seen as people scamper for safety in different directions.

  According to one Sunday Feghabor, chaos broke out after people living the area heard two explosions in quick successions without knowing exact direction of the blasts.

  “By the  time an inferno was seen in a nearby gas plant, many had started running for dear life believing that the area had come under attack of bombers. Before you know it, corpses and seriously injured victims were seen in many places as many were running into vehicles or getting trampled as people scramble for exit along the only available way,” Feghabor said.

  Officials of Federal Fire Service were later seen battling to put out the fire that was caused by the explosions.

  Also, there was pandemonium in Alaba International Market, Lagos, as traders and hoodlums engaged in shootout following traders’ refusal of some levies from them by their invaders.

  Shops were hurriedly shut while people fled to avoid being caught up in the crossfire.

  Sources say the shootout lasted for several hours before anti-riot policemen dispersed the side with some people arrested.

  Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of Lagos State Command, Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the incident, saying “but normalcy had been restored to the market.”

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  In another development, residents of Salka in Magama Local Government Area of Niger State are currently under fear after no fewer than two persons were killed as when their community was invaded on Tuesday night by people from a neighbouring settlement who are involved in a land dispute with them.

  A resident of Salka, Dangwere Musa, said apart from the two persons who were killed by their attackers, over 30 houses, livestock and economic trees were also destroyed.

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