Rival cult groups killed six youths over the past week in Ogwashi-Uku, Aniocha South LGA of Delta.
The latest development followed the murder of one Ekene Ekwenuya by suspected members of a cult group in the community, which sources said triggered the killings among the rival cult groups.
A source said Mr Ekene was missing for three days without traces before his decomposing remains were discovered and exhumed from a shallow grave in the bush.
“It was three days later that some youths saw a boy in the community riding Ekene’s missing motorcycle.
“The youths gave the young man a hot chase and succeeded in apprehending him. Upon interrogation, he confessed that Ekene was killed and buried.
“He named three other youths who participated in the killing of Ekene and led a community vigilante group to the bush where they buried the victim,” the source said.
According to the source, Mr Ekene’s gang subsequently embarked on reprisal attacks, which resulted in the death of six youths.
The source added that following the tension in the community, notable leaders of the cult groups are said to have gone underground for fear of their lives.
When contacted, the spokesperson of the Delta Police Command, Bright Edafe, confirmed the cult killings.
He, however, explained that only three persons were killed in the fracas and were reported at the police division in the community.
The police spokesperson said the police had beefed up security in Ogwashi-Uku to checkmate the further spread of the violence.
“We are aware that three persons have been killed so far. We cannot confirm any killing that was not reported to the police.
“So far, we have commenced raids of blackspots in the community, with the arrest of suspects.
“At the end of the day, those that are innocent will be allowed to go and those found culpable will be charged to court,” Mr Edafe said.