This weekly update spotlights organized criminality in the Niger Delta with a focus on rising criminal violence and targeted killings in Imo State. Organized criminal violence and targeted killings are becoming increasingly prevalent in Imo State. According to data (see map above), organized criminality caused more than 300 fatalities in Imo State between January 2021 and June 2023. Recent incidents indicate the growing prevalence of criminal violence and targeted killings in the State. In July 2023, for instance, gunmen reportedly killed a traditional ruler during a meeting in Nguru Nweke community, Aboh Mbaise LGA. In August, gunmen reportedly attacked and burned the residence of a traditional ruler in Okwuru Orsu-Ihitte-Ukwa community, Orsu LGA. Separately, in August, a 30-year-old man who was withdrawing money from a point of sale (POS) machine was reportedly killed by armed robbers at World Bank Junction in Owerri, the state capital. More recently, on August 20, 2023, gunmen suspected to be robbers reportedly killed a retired police officer and his wife at their POS shop in Owerri, the Imo state capital.
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