Cultists Ambush Mourners, Kill 20

ABOUT 20 people were feared dead at the weekend following an attack on mourners by members of a suspected cult group in Buguma, Asari-Toru council area of Rivers State. Daily Champion gathered that those who lost their lives were mostly young men and women in a procession escorting the body of a slain 26-year-old youth.

Although there are conflicting reports on the cause of the incident,, a source said trouble started when the procession left the compound of the deceased youth's mother and headed for his father's place. The procession was allegedly attacked by the cult group said to be on a reprisal mission for unknown reasons.

Another source stated that the incident was sparked off by a drunken man who had scattered the tables and chairs at an earlier rite of passage party, a development that led to the ensuing confusion and subsequent death of a member of the Kaka group. Confirming the report to Daily Champion, an eyewitness who resides on Nnewi Street in Port Harcourt where the slain youth lived, said most of the victims were friends, streetmates and relations of the deceased who came to witness the burial ceremony.

The source said those killed were initially deposited at the town square, but later taken to a place called sandfill, where the supposed leader of the Kaka Boys, a native doctor, once lived.

Although the state's Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Mrs. Ireju Barasua said yesterday she was yet to be briefed about the development, another police source who did not want his name in print confirmed the incident but observed that the number of casualties was exaggerated.

It would be recalled that the slain youth was reportedly stabbed by his friend, one Dawari, on May 5 this year over girlfriend matter.