At least 10 people have been feared killed in a renewed bloodbath in restive Effurun town in Nigeria's southern state of Delta, local newspaper Vanguard reported Monday.
The fresh fighting broke out last Friday and lasted the weekendbetween the thugs of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP), said the report.
Among the victims included a security guard and a mobile policeman who were killed in Friday's skirmishes.
The fresh crisis also claimed multi-million naira (about tens of thousands of US dollars) properties of notable individuals in the community, including Secretary of the Uvwie Council of Chiefs J. M. Urhobodoro.
An eyewitness told reporters that government soldiers who stormed the town on Saturday to restore law and order allegedly embarked on shooting spree, leading to the rise in the death toll."The fresh casualty included a motorist, a couple and their four brothers," he said.
Panic-gripped residents reportedly had started relocating out of the town as soldiers cordoned off strategic locations to contain the war. The fresh fighting had paralyzed socioeconomic activities in the town as it was deserted following the escalationof the fighting.
The cause of the renewed crisis could not be ascertained but may not be unconnected with the unending political battle over thecontrol of the Uvwie local government by the AD and ruling PDP chieftains in the area, according to local residents.
Peace had eluded the town for the past four years as a result of the frequent violence between stalwarts of AD and PDP.
As a multinational country in Africa, Nigeria has a huge and growing population of over 126 million belonging to 373 ethnic groups. Clashes between different ethnic, religious and political groups break out frequently.
Official statistics show that since Nigeria returned to civil rule in 1999 after 15 years of military dictatorship, more than 10,000 Nigerians have been killed in ethnic, religious and political violence.