The cult members were said to have camped and dominated Oboburu, which is the second largest community in Egiland, harassing and intimidating people.
According to The Punch, the soldiers were deployed in the area after complaints of cult activities in the community got to the 2 Brigade of the Nigerian Army in Port Harcourt.
A prominent woman in Oboburu who spoke in anonymity disclosed that while three of those hit by the soldiers’ bullets were cultists, the fourth person was a law abiding indigene of the community hit by a stray bullet.
She said, “The bad boys most times wear military camouflage and have been terrorising the people in the community.
“I think the soldiers heard about the situation in Oboburu and decided to come here.
“They came in on Tuesday and the shooting was so much that even the innocent ones left Oboburu and ran for safety into nearby villages.
“Before the soldiers came, there was a notorious armed group that camped in this place.
“Even the VIPs (very important personalities) from this community have all left because of the bad boys. The ordinary people packed their things and left during the shootout on Tuesday”.
When contacted, the Assistant Army Public Relations Officer of 2 Brigade, Port Harcourt, Captain Eli Lazarus, confirmed the incident, adding that the operation by soldiers was still ongoing in the community.
Lazarus, however, said he could not confirm the number of those killed or injured.