Two soldiers killed and an expatriate has been kidnapped at a road construction site by unknown gunmen in the Ukanafun Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

The expatriate engineer, an employee of Al Madal Construction Company was inspecting a contract awarded by the state government; the construction of the Ikot Ibritam/Inen Ekeffe/Odoro Ikot/Ukanafun Road on Wednesday before the incident occurred.

According to Punch reports, an eyewitness, Mr Friday Idiok, told journalists that the two soldiers were killed while escorting the expatriate on routine inspection of the project on the Idim Okpok mini bridge in Inen Ekeffe, the boundary village between Oruk Anam and Ukanafun local government areas of the state.

Idiok said the gunmen whisked the expatriate engineer away after killing the two soldiers, while residents deserted the area for fear of arrest by security operatives.

He stated, “There was repeated shooting here and before we knew what was happening, two soldiers were dead. The gunmen also escaped with the soldiers’ guns and took the expatriate to their hideout.

“Everybody here is in panic; we don’t know what the government will do on this matter.”

Speaking on the incident, the clan head of Inen, Obong Johnson Obosi, said most residents of the community were attending the burial of one of their sons when they heard gunshots.

Obosi stated, “We were at the burial of one of our brothers, Mr Udoimoh, and when we were about to be entertained, we heard gunshots.

“The next report was that two soldiers attached to an expatriate working on the road construction project that links my community with Ukanafun have been killed and the expatriate abducted.”

Obosi, who could not establish the nationality of the kidnapped expatriate, said soldiers from the Ibagwa barracks came with an ambulance and evacuated the corpses of the deceased to the morgue.

Confirming the incident on Thursday, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Odiko Macdon, said that the command was aware of the incident and working with other security agencies to arrest the perpetrators.

He said, “We have received information about the unfortunate incident at the road project site in Ikot Ibritam, Inen Ekeffe, leading to Ukanafun.

“We are working with our sister agencies to identify, arrest and prosecute those involved.”

Macdon appealed to residents of the community to remain calm and go about their normal business and promised that security operatives would apprehend the culprits and bring them to justice.