Unidentified gunmen on Saturday torched the Police Criminal Investigation Department in Abia, causing panic and pandemonium in Umuahia, the state capital, and its environs.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Godfrey Ogbonna, confirmed the incident to newsmen but said he had yet to get details of the incident.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the attack on the facility, situated on the busy Uzuakoli Road, occurred around 6 pm.
The stampede started from the densely populated city centre, popularly called Isigate, when the news filtered to the area that the station had been set ablaze.
Billows of smoke were seen from the direction of the station, fuelling fears among street traders, hawkers, shop owners, motorists, tricycle operators, passersby, and residents of the area.
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The ensuing commotion spread beyond the city centre to adjoining villages, causing abrupt closure of businesses in the area as people scamper in different directions for safety.
Many commuters, who were stranded following the disappearance of commuter-vehicles from the major roads, walked long distances to their destinations.
NAN reports that Umuahia recorded a similar commotion penultimate Friday when a fatal robbery attack was rumoured to be an invasion of the town by bandits.
Two policemen were shot dead in the attack, while the armed men dispossessed their expatriate target of N3 million.
NAN reports that Saturday’s attack, which left the streets of Umuahia desolate, is coming barely 48 hours to the effective commencement of the sit-at-home order issued by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra on May 31.
Vanguard News Nigeria
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