About 30 persons and a soldier were allegedly killed on Monday during a protest in Onitsha, Anambra state in the south-east of Nigeria.
The incident occured when some pro-Biafra protesters celebrating the 50th anniversary of the declaration of the defunct Biafra Republic engaged soldiers and policemen in a bloody clash, local media Punch reports.
According to police superintendent, Charles Muka, five civilians and two police officers were also killed on Monday in Asaba, Delta state during the protest.
In a statement from the Nigerian army, they claimed that the members of Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) launched an attack on peace loving populace as well as security agencies while marking the first anniversary of the democratically elected government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The MASSOB said about 600 people have been arrested. Police said the protests were illegal because organisers did not have permits.
The late Biafran leader, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu declared the secession of the Republic of Biafra from Nigeria on May 30, 1966.
The anniversary of the declaration, turned bloody when IPOB members reportedly clashed with security agencies in Onitsha while some members of the MASSOB clashed with security operatives in Asaba, Delta state.
The pro-Biafran protesters also took to the street in Port Harcourt, Enugu, Owerri and Calabar.
While some residents claimed that IPOB collaborated with MASSOB on the protests, the MASSOB leadership in Anambra State distanced itself from the clash.
Meanwhile, police on Tuesday said four pro-Biafra activists have been arrested as a result of the incident. The police command’s spokesman, Ezekiel Onyeka told the News Agency of Nigeria that the suspects would be arraigned on Wednesday.
Onyeke warned that the command would henceforth clampdown on any group that threatened the peace in any part of the state.