Gunmen on Wednesday night invaded Azikoro village in the Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, killing four persons including a pregnant wife and her husband.
The ramping bandits were said to have also attacked a church and set some buildings ablaze as well as vandalised some vehicles.
A resident and medical doctor, who pleaded anonymity, said: “the armed boys also came into my compound and destroyed my car.”
The state Police Command confirmed the incident but claimed that it was perpetrated by suspected cultists in reprisal.
A statement on Thursday by the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Asinim Butswat, said the command had “launched a manhunt for the suspected cultists who murdered four victims and set a house ablaze.”
Butswat said the Commissioner of Police, Mike Okoli, had visited the scene of the crime.
The statement said, “On 5th August 2020, at 2300hours, armed suspected cultists stormed the ‘Lion of Judah Church’, Azikoro village, Yenagoa Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, shot dead four church members namely; Alfred Marcus ‘m’ 30 years, Imomotimi surname unknown 25 years Gabriel Ejimofor ‘m’ 45 years and Uchechukwu Ejimofor ‘f’ 38 years and set ablaze a nearby building, damaged a vehicle and the church properties.
“Operatives of operation Puff Adder had earlier traced the hideouts of the cultists in the bush, dislodged them and burnt their camp. It is believed that this is a reprisal attack by the suspected cultists.
“Meanwhile two suspects have been arrested and are cooperating with the Police in their investigation.
“The Commissioner of Police CP Mike Okoli fsi, has visited the scene, reassured members of the Community of adequate police protection and ordered for full Investigation to unravel the motive for this dastardly attack.”