A secessionist leader seeking independence from Nigeria has been missing since an alleged military raid more than two weeks ago left his house in the city of Umuahia riddled with bullet holes, its windows smashed and doors hanging off hinges.
The disappearance of Nnamdi Kanu, after the raid the army says did not happen, threatens to ignite separatist unrest capable of destabilizing southeastern Nigeria, a region where a million people died in a 1967-70 civil war over the short-lived Republic of Biafra.
Kingsley Kanu, 48, said he was with his older brother Nnamdi, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader, at their family home on the evening of Sept. 14 when soldiers stormed in.
“They were shooting everything they saw,” he said, pointing to bullet holes in walls and windows.
“They came here just to kill everybody,” he said, adding that around 20 IPOB members were shot dead but most of the bodies were taken by soldiers.
Reuters witnesses – a reporter and TV cameraman – on Sept. 27 saw six corpses with bullet wounds in a morgue, who IPOB said were among their members.
Two resembled men in photographs held by weeping relatives who told Reuters their brothers were killed in the raid, though nobody could verify the identities of the four others.