By Osahon Osahon
Five persons have been reportedly shot dead in Benin, Edo State capital, when youths on Saturday evening attempted to force their way into the Edo Pharmaceutical Company where CA-COVID-19 palliatives are being reportedly kept.
The victims who were reportedly shot be security operatives were said to be breaking into the warehouse where they allegedly discovered a large sum of money kept in large bags.
Unconfirmed reports also had it that some others died from exhaustion resulting from heat in the warehouse and the ensuing stampede.
Recall that residents of the area had invaded the warehouse in the morning and looted the Covid-19 palliatives kept there by the state government.
The desperate mob had defied threat of military operatives who shot for about five minutes, to scare the rampaging mob.
For several hours, the residents carted home items like rice, beans, noodles, mattresses, empty gas cylinders and others.
No serious incident occurred in morning, except for two persons who were allegedly trampled on.
Trouble however started later in the afternoon, when some youths allegedly returned to the warehouse, and attempted to search a certain room the they did not look into in the morning.
One of the looters allegedly discovered that pile of money was kept in one of the rooms in the warehouse and screamed.
Angered by the action, the security operatives allegedly shot at the ramoaging mob.
In the process, three persons were allegedly hit and died around the warehouse, while two women were said to have died from stray bullets far away from the warehouse.
A resident of the area who gave his name simply as David, said the entire area looks like a war-ravaged community.
David whose house is directly opposite the warehouse, said he went out after the morning episode, only to be called home that there was another looting going on.
He said: “As at 6pm, the warehouse vicinity had turned to a war zone, as a combined team of army and police operatives chase about and shot at the youths who run about in various directions.”
As at the time of filing this report (8.00pm), the entire Medical Store road and adjoining streets have been deserted, while the brave ones lock themselves in their rooms.