Cult clashes in Brass in Brass Local Government Area and Okpotuwari and Onduwari in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area have claimed three lives.
A breastfeeding mother, Rose Opukiri was allegedly shot and killed by yet to be identified gunmen in her home in Brass, while Diete Rufus, a 24 year old final year student of Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro, Delta State, was also feared dead.
Rufus was said to have met his untimely death during a deadly clash involving two rival cult groups in Onduwari. TNN gathered that three other persons also sustained serious injuries during the incident which occurred on Wednesday, July 18.
In Okpotuwari, Ebikeseye Abiri, younger brother of the detained publisher of a local tabloid in Yenagoa, Jones Abiri, was also reported dead when a container containing illegally refined petroleum products he was conveying from one community to another in Rivers State, went up in flames.
Ebikeseye, a father of three, was said to have died at the weekend in a private clinic at Akaba, a suburb of Yenagoa metropolis.
A source who preferred anonymity said that the cult clash between the two groups caused panic in the two sleepy communities as some residents have started relocating to neighbouring communities and nearby bush for safety for fear of more clash between the two rival cult groups.
Rufus was rushed to Korokosei hospital but the situation could not be handled there and was referred to the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa but died on their way to the hospital.
It was also gathered that the gun duel between the two cult groups may not be unconnected with the disagreement over the control of oil facilities in the area which had generated bitterness among the youths in recent time in the two communities.
Concerned members of the communities said that the late Ebikeseye whose wife gave birth to a baby on Saturday night went into the illicit business to make ends meet as his brother, the publisher of the local tabloid who was the breadwinner of the family is still in DSS custody for over one year now.