By Onome Oghenetega
At least three persons have been feared killed when rival cult groups clashed during a birthday party at Agbarho in the Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State.
Several other guests believed to members of the different cult groups also sustained severe injuries during the melee on Sunday evening.
The incident happened at a popular drinking bar in Agbarho, one of the urban towns in the state.
The clash was said to have caused serious panic among residents of the area until security agencies brought the situation under control.
It was learnt that members of the rival cult groups had attended the birthday party of a young lady but midway into the party fight broke among some armed youths at the venue leading to the killing of the three boys.
Our correspondent could not identify the names of the cults groups involved in the clash.
The birthday celebration was held despite the ban on public gathering ordered by the Delta State government over the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
A source who witnessed the attack said many of the injured were rushed to undisclosed hospital in the area.
Another source noted that four unidentified armed men stormed the bar and opened fire on the guests including the celebrant, who was reportedly shot on both legs.
According to a source, “A girl was celebrating her birthday in the bar when the boys, about four of them, entered the place with pump action and shot at the people. The guy who sponsored the party was shot in the stomach, while the girl was shot on her legs.
“Three people died instantly. The others were rushed to a clinic. We don’t really know why it happened, but might be all those their cult fights. The bar is kind of enclosed, that is why people could not really run away.”
Meanwhile, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hafiz Inuwa confirmed the incident on Tuesday when contacted.
Inuwa, said, “I got a report that some people went to the bar and opened fire. As a result one died in the bar. While two others were taken to the hospital, one died on the way and the other died in the hospital.
“Then two others sustained injuries and were taken to the hospital. Three actually died and we are hunting for the perpetrators.
“It’s more like a cult related issue, but we are not going to narrow our scope. We want to know the motive and those perpetrators. We are working hand-in-hand with some well-meaning members to get information.”