Uyo — Two soldiers have allegedly been killed and an expatriate kidnapped by unidentified gunmen at a construction site in Ukanafun Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State.
The incident was said to have happened on Tuesday afternoon when the expatriate engineer working with Al Madal Construction Company was inspecting ongoing construction work in Ikot Ibritam, Inen Ekeffe and Odoro Ikot to Ukanafun road project awarded by the state government.
A witness, Mr. Friday Idiok said 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, a village between Oruk Anam and Ukanafun local government areas.
Idiok said the gunmen whisked the expatriate engineer away after killing the two soldiers, causing residents to run away for fear of arrest by security operatives.
The Clan Head of Inen, Obong Johnson Johnny Obosi, said the community was burying one of their sons, late Udoimoh, when they heard gunshots, causing the residents to run away.
Obong Obosi, who said the nationality of the kidnapped expatriate was unknown, stated that soldiers from Ibagwa barracks arrived in their ambulance and carried the corpses of the dead soldiers to the mortuary.
Another resident of the area, Mr Enobong Etuk, said the incident was a fallout of the collapsed amnesty the government granted militants from Ukanafun, noting that government failed to keep their own part of the bargain with the hoodlums.
He said, "We wonder why this incident should happen. The project had continued smoothly in Oruk Anam axis but when it got to Ukanafun, killings and kidnapping set in. Government must look inward to fish out perpetrators of this crime."
Confirming the incident, spokesman of the police in Akwa Ibom State, Odiko Macdon, said "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."