The First Invasion of Onitsha (October 4 − October 12, 1967) was a large military conflict between Biafran and Nigerian forces. The Nigerian 2nd Division managed to seize control of Onitsha for less than one day before being massacred by Biafran soldiers. On September 20, 1967, the Nigerian 2nd Division under General Murtala Muhammed forced all Biafran soldiers within Nigeria's Mid-Western Region to retreat eastwards back towards Biafra. In an attempt to halt the Nigerian advance retreating Biafran soldiers destroyed the River Niger Bridge at Onitsha, trapping the Nigerians on the other side of the river. In October 1967 2nd Division soldiers entered Asaba and began setting up artillery positions on the banks of the Niger River while 2nd Division soldiers began preparing for an invasion.