Unidentified gunmen have killed two soldiers and abducted an expatriate at a road construction site in Ukanafun council area of Akwa Ibom.
The incident was said to have occurred on Wednesday afternoon as the expatriate engineer working with Al Madal construction company was inspecting ‘Ikot Ibritam, Inen Ekeffe and Odoro Ikot to Ukanafun’ road construction project awarded by Akwa Ibom State Government.
A witness, Mr Friday Idiok, told journalists that the two soldiers were killed while escorting the expatriate on a routine inspection of the road project along Idim Okpok mini bridge in Inen Ekeffe, the boundary village between Oruk Anam and Ukanafun Local Government Area of the state.
Idiok said the gunmen whisked the expatriate engineer away immediately the two soldiers were shot dead on the spot and residents ran away for fear of arrest by security operatives.
“There were sporadic shootings here and before you knew what was happening, two soldiers were dead.
“The gunmen also escaped with the soldiers’ guns and took the expatriate to their hideout. Everybody here is in panic, we do not know what the government will do in this matter.”
Speaking on the incident, the clan head of Inen, Mr Johnson Obosi, said the community was holding the burial of one of their sons, late Mr Udoimo, when they heard gunshots and the residents ran away.
“The next report was that two soldiers attached to an expatriate working on the road construction project that links my community with Ukanafun have been killed and the expatriate abducted,” he said.
Obosi who could not establish the nationality of the kidnapped expatriate said soldiers from Ibagwa barracks arrived in their ambulance and carried the corpses of the soldiers to the morgue.
Confirming the incident on Thursday, Police Public Relations Officer in Akwa Ibom, Mr Odiko Macdon, said that the command was aware of the incident and was working with the sister security agencies in the state to arrest those involved.
“We have received information about the unfortunate dastardly incident at the road project in Ikot Ibritam, Inen Ekeffe leading to Ukanafun. We are working with our sister agencies to identify, arrest and prosecute those involved,” he said.
Macdon appealed to residents of the community to remain calm and go about their normal duties promising that security operatives would apprehend the culprits and bring them to book.