Soldiers on patrol

By Jethro Ibileke

There was sporadic shooting by military operatives who attempted to disperse market women in Benin, Edo State on Wednesday.

The incident occurred at Oregbeni Market, located at Ramat Park, Ikpoba Hill, in Benin.

It was gathered that the soldiers who had earlier arrived in three Hilux van, with a megaphone, warned the market women to vacate the market, reminding them that the 24-hour curfew was still in force.

An eye witness who witness the sporadic shooting, said that the women appeared to linger than the military operatives could bear.

“I was trekking down from Ring Road when we ran into the soldiers at Ramat Park shooting to disperse the traders.

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“We heard that they arrived at the market about two hours earlier and warned the traders to pack and go back home. They started shooting when it appears that the women were not in a hurry to leave the market,” the source added.

Another eyewitness, an old woman, told our reporter that she was buying food stuff, when the military operatives opened fire.

She said: “I was buying food stuff when they started shooting. Everyone had to hurriedly leave the market.”

Meanwhile, there was tension at nearby Oregbeni police station when hoodlums attempted to burn down the station, at about 2 pm.

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Operatives of the station were said to have engaged the youths who numbered over 50 in a gun-battle, in defence of the station.

Gun shots rented the air on the Agbor Road where the police Station is located while residents and other road users scampered for safety.

Our correspondent recalled that the youths had mobilized to the station after some security operatives coming from Asaba end of the road, shot sporadically to disperse protesters at Jehovah Junction.

Two persons were hit by bullets. One who was hit on the leg was rushed in a black Toyota Corolla to unknown destination for treatment.

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The incident infuriated the youths who vowed to retaliate by razing the nearest [Oregbeni] police station.