Troops attached to the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army have killed four members of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra/ Eastern Security Network (IPOB/ESN) in Anambra State.
The soldiers who were conducting Exercise Golden Dawn killed the gunmen in a fierce encounter at Nnobi Junction in Idemili South Local Government Area of the state.
Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, noted in a statement on Saturday that the operation was carried out on Friday.
According to General Nwachukwu, the death followed the assailants’ armed attack on personnel of security agencies deployed at Ekwulobia Roundabout in Aguata Local Government Area of the state, during which troops swiftly mobilised to the scene and subsequently embarked on the pursuit of the criminals along Nnewi-Nnobi Road.
The military spokesman further narrated that the troops made contact with the fleeing gunmen and engaged them in a firefight, neutralising four of the criminals.
“The gallant troops also recovered two AK-47 rifles, one GALIL Ace 5.56 x 45 Iwi gun, one Avofeng Handheld radio, and one black highlander jeep.
“Sadly, personnel of one of the security agencies paid the supreme price,” General Onyeama explained. He also noted that in a separate operation, troops foiled another attack by IPOB/ESN gunmen at Umunze checkpoint in Orumba South Local Government Area.
“Vigilant troops overwhelmed the attackers in the shootout that ensued, forcing them to take to their heels, abandoning, one pump action gun with nine cartridges, one dark blue Ford, and four motorcycles, which the troops have recovered,” the army spokesman added.
The Nigerian Army stressed through its spokesman that the recent attacks were part of the plan by IPOB/ESN to instill fear into residents and sabotage the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra.
It, however, assured the people that working with sister services and other security agencies, it would not relent in resolutely confronting all criminal intents against the citizenry and national interest.
The army called on law-abiding residents to continue to go about their daily activities without any fear, and to report any unusual activity observed across the state to the nearest security post.