Suspected cultists on Sunday night stormed a football viewing centre in Abakaliki during the match between Real Madrid and Barcelona in Madrid, critically injuring their victim, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

NAN reports that the viewing centre is located at Onuebonyi area of the Ebonyi State capital.

NAN reports that the attackers stormed the centre around 7.30pm midway into the match’s first half and sat down like other viewers.

The attackers realising the urgency of their mission made for their prey, a second year student of the Ebonyi State University, who was sitting with his friends in the middle row of several lines of seats at the centre.

The viewing centre operator, John Otubo, said, “I watched them brandish two shotguns, axes and knifes as they went for their target, dragged him out and started using the weapons on him.

“No one can explain why they did not shoot him as they concentrated on him without attacking any other person or shooting.”

Otubo, however, said that some of the viewers were injured during the ensuing stampede as they scampered to safety.

“Some of the viewers were injured in the process, including those who were trampled upon during the stampede as the attackers felt their prey was dead and hurriedly left the scene.

“We found him in a pool of blood with severe cuts on different parts of his body.

“We immediately took him to hospital, which I cannot disclose at present as doctors said his condition was critical.”

NAN reports that Abakiliki has witnessed renewed cult activities involving three cult groups in EBSU, which resulted in the death of a final year student Theophilus Onele.

Spokesman for the police in the state Jude Madu told NAN on Monday that he had not received the report of the incident.

Madu said, “The command arrests suspected cultists terrorising the town on a daily basis and after our investigations, they are duly prosecuted to deter others.

“We will continue to appeal to the government, parents, religious bodies and youths among other stakeholders to intensify their campaign against cultism to make the society safe and habitable for all.”

Sources within EBSU and the town alleged that there had been several cult-related killings in and around the town which had not been made public by the police.