A group of soldiers on Monday shot and killed one Aleruchi Woko during a protest against flooding by youths of Nkpolu Community in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the Rivers State.
A policeman, whose identity could not be immediately ascertained, was alleged to have been seriously injured by the angry youths, while four other protesters were said to have also sustained gunshot injuries.
Our correspondent learnt that a policeman, who probably had come to maintain peace, allegedly lost his rifle during the clash.
It was gathered that the deceased was died on the spot after being hit by the bullet from one of the soldiers.
The incident resulted in a gridlock on the Choba-Rumuokoro axis of the East-West Road, leaving many commuters stranded for hours as the angry youths blocked the Nkpolu point of the road.
The spokesman of 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, dismissed the claim that anybody was killed by soldiers.
“It is cheap blackmail to say that soldiers killed anybody. They smashed the windscreens of our vehicles, including that of the escort. The mob threw stones and other objects at them (soldiers and the government officials).
“For them to extricate themselves and because of the blockade, they (soldiers and government officials) had to turn back to base. In this era of social media, if somebody was killed, you would have seen it all over the social media,” Iliyasu said.
When contacted, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed the clash between the soldiers and the youths, but could not confirm whether anybody was killed or not.
Omoni disclosed that 15 suspects had been arrested in connection with the breach of peace within the area, adding that those arrested were helping the Police in their investigation.