Gunmen killed the wife of a local vigilante leader in Umuopu, Enugu-Ezike, a community in the Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of Enugu State southeastern Nigeria.
The incident occurred on Friday night.
The victim, Ogochukwu Onuh, was shot to death after her husband, known simply as Akada, allegedly ran away from the gunmen.
Sources said the gunmen were furious that the vigilante leader, who was their target, escaped, prompting them to kill the wife.
The incident comes just three weeks after another community self-defense group leader, identified as Levi, was shot dead by armed men.
It is not clear, for now, if the same gunmen are responsible for both murders.
“They shot the woman and left almost immediately. Then the people sounded the alarm. We then rushed her to the hospital where she eventually died,” a community source said.
Her husband, the vigilante leader, was said to be leading an attack on the armed men terrorizing the community.
It was learned that the leader of the self-defense groups has been collaborating with the community’s security agencies to combat the gunmen.
“The guy (Mr. Akada) has been attacked many times by the armed men. Even the late Levi. They have been targeting them (Akada and Levi) because they are the ones who help prevent the gunmen from terrorizing us here,” said Kasiemobi Ugwu, a resident of the community.
A police spokesman in the state, Daniel Ndukwe, confirmed the incident but gave no details.
“The investigation and pursuit of the fleeing assailants have been launched,” Ndukwe said.
Increased Gunmen attacks
Enugu, like other states in the southeast, has been witnessing a rise in deadly attacks lately.
The latest incident comes two days after gunmen killed three police officers in New Haven, the Enugu North local government area of the state.
Last week, armed men attacked members of the Labor Party (LP) who were holding a meeting in the Awgu community, Awgu Local Government Area of the state.
Earlier, on August 31, other LP members were also attacked by armed men in Nenwe, a community in the Aninri Local Government Area of the state.
In late June, gunmen attacked a police checkpoint along Agbani Road in the Enugu South Local Government Area of the state. Two officers were feared dead in that attack.
In mid-June, a police officer was killed by gunmen who attacked a police checkpoint in Ibagwa-Ani, a community in the Nsukka Local Government Area of the state.
Earlier, on June 2, two policemen were also killed when gunmen attacked the community of Mkpamte in the North Igbo-Eze local government area of the state.
Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi recently banned motorcycle and tricycle operations in some local government areas to control frequent attacks in the state.
The governor later lifted the ban, following public outcry and assurances from transport operator leaders to help the government end the attacks.
The attacks, mostly targeting security officials and government facilities, have been blamed on illegal Biafran Indigenous People (IPOB) fighting for a sovereign state for the Igbo-speaking people in the southeast.
IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu is detained in Abuja, where he is on trial for terrorism.