Four persons, including a pregnant woman, identified as Imomotimi, have been killed in Azikoro Village in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
The other victims, according to locals, are Alfred Marcus 30; Gabriel Ejimofor 45 and Uchechukwu Ejimofor 38.
The incident happened when hoodlums suspected to be cult members attacked a new generation church, Lion of Judah Fire Deliverance Ministry, off Bakery Road, Azikoro.
While Imomotimi and Marcus were said to be killed inside the church, a couple, Gabriel Ejimofor and Uchechukwu Ejimofor, were allegedly killed in their house.
Apart from the brutal murder of the four church members, the assailants also burnt a house in the area.
The real motive behind the attack on the church and the destruction of a house was yet to be established.
However, a source claimed the incident was a reprisal by suspected cult members due to alleged burning down of their camps in the bush by security operatives.
Bayelsa Police Command said it has launched manhunt for the suspected cult members responsible for the murder and arson.
Police spokesman Asinim Butswat said the police had arrested two suspects in connection with the murder.
Butswat, who said the arrested suspects were cooperating with the police in their investigation, noted the attack took place on Wednesday at about 11pm.
According to him: “On 5th August, 2020, at about 2300 hours, armed suspected cultists stormed the ‘Lion of Judah Church’ Azikoro village, Yenagoa LGA of 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 camps.
“It is believed that this is a reprisal by the suspected cultists. Meanwhile two suspects have been arrested and are cooperating with the police in their investigation.”
He said the Commissioner of Police Mike Okoli had visited the scene and reassured members of the community of adequate protection.
He also said the CP had ordered full Investigation to unravel the motive of the dastardly attack.