Eight persons were killed in a Tuesday midnight attack at the new cattle market at Omumauzor community in Ukwa West local government area of Abia State.
It was learnt that the invaders were heavily armed and attempts by local vigilante to combat them failed.
The apprehensive villagers ran to nearby bushes as gunshots rented the air for hours.
A statement from the Information and Strategy Commissioner Eze Chikamnayo said security agencies have been mobilised to the scene.
He said efforts were in top gear to relocate the traders at the cattle market and pay them compensation over their losses.
“On Tuesday, 15th February, 2022 at about 11:35pm, some yet to be identified hoodlums allegedly invaded traders at the New Cattle Market located in Omumauzor, Ukwa West Local Government Area of our Dear State.
“Government responded swiftly by mobilising the various Security Agencies to the scene that night to secure the lives and properties of the innocent traders and fish out the assailants.
“This was followed this morning by a high powered team made up of the Chief of Staff, Prof ACB Agbazuere, Hon Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, Honorable Commissioner for Homeland Security, Chief Sopuruchi Bekee, Executive Chairman of Ukwa West LGA, Chief Okey Kanu in company of the State Commissioner of Police, CP Janet Agbede.
“We are working assiduously to provide succour to the families of the victims. Those who sustained injuries are currently receiving medical attention.
“We have equally started the immediate relocation of the traders while working out compensation for lost properties.
“We shall leave no stone unturned to ensure that the evil perpetrators are brought to justice,” Chikamnayo said.