An unspecified number of the Eastern Security Network and Indigenous People of Biafra members, including one of their leaders have been killed in a gun battle with the operatives of the Imo State Police Command.
The members of the security wing of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) group, were killed on Friday during a raid carried out on their camps in Imo State by police operatives at Akata community in Oru East Local Government Area of the state.
A source had earlier in the week reported that the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, directed the police to be ruthless with the IPOB and ESN members, while designating them as terrorists.
According to the Commissioner of Police, Imo State Command, CP Rabiu Hussaini, who made the disclosure in Owerri on Friday, one of the officers died on the way to the medical facility while the other two are currently undergoing treatment in a government hospital.
The Commissioner revealed that the operation was sequel to credible information by the command’s intelligence unit which stated that some bandits suspected to be IPOB groups were seen mobilising to attack police formations and government installations in the area.
“On searching the camp and the surroundings bushes, the following items were recovered, namely; three Improvised Explosives Devices, two pump action guns, nine cartridges, one locally made pistol and one Toyota Highlander SUV vehicle with registration number IMO DFB 535 LC and were taken to the station.
“On their way back, unknown to police team, the bandits had reinforced and regrouped, laying ambush using palm tree logs to block the entire exit paths in the bush. It was at the fourth blockade that the police team came under heavy attack while removing the fourth palm tree log used in blocking the exit path. The bandits threw petrol bombs and Improvised Explosives Devices at the police vehicles.
“Again, the tactical team successfully dislodged the terrorists where several of them were neutralised and others fled into the bush with bullets wounds. Unfortunately, one of the police Hilux vehicle was burnt due to the petrol bombs thrown on it by the ESN.”
According to the CP, the tactical teams are presently combing the bush for possible recovery of more arms and Improvised Explosives Devices.
The police commissioner vowed to sustain the operations and arrest all criminal elements involved in violence in the state particularly, as the Command is embarking on a mop-up operations to arrest the remnants of the IPOB and ESN members terrorizing the state, a feat which has resulted in peace and tranquility in the state lately.