There are indications that no fewer than 45 suspected cultists have been picked up at the Upper Sokponba area of Benin, Edo State, following raids of black spots in the area.
This followed cult related killings that have engulfed the area for over three weeks now.
Several persons including a police sergeant, Monday Ehigie, have been killed in the past three weeks in the area.
The cult related killings have led to breakdown of commercial activities in the area from Erediauwa junction to Idogbo, headquarters of Ikpoba-Okha.
Residents living in adjoining communities like Avbiama, Umelu, Egba, Oka now rush home before 8pm so as not to be caught in the cross fire.
Also affected are prostitutes in a motel along the popular Three House street. They complained of low patronage since the latest killings began on Sunday.
One of them who gave her name as Cynthia said security operatives raided the joint in search of some suspected cultists.
“You can see we used to play music till 12 midnight but now we lock our doors from 7:30pm when we are supposed to start work.
“Our customers ran away. They are afraid of arrest.” She said.
Some of the suspected cultists were arrested following a stop and search operation carried out by the soldiers.
Several guns, weapons and charms were said to have been recovered from some of the suspects.
When contacted for comments, Edo Police spokesman, DSP Chidi Nwabuzor, said proper briefing would be made after due investigation.