An unconfirmed number of members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), the security wing of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), including one of their leaders have been killed in a gun battle with the policemen of the Imo State Command. The members of the group were killed on Friday during a raid carried out on their camps in Imo State by Policemen at Akata community in Oru East Local Government Area of the state.
According to our reliable source, it was gathered that about three police officers also sustained gunshot injuries during the raid and were rushed to the hospital for immediate medical attention. While speaking concerning the raid on Friday in Owerri, the Commissioner of Police, Imo State Command, CP Rabiu Hussaini, said 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 CP disclosed that the operation came on the heels of credible information gathered by the intelligence unit of the police command which stated that some bandits suspected to be IPOB/ESN terror groups were seen mobilizing to attack police formations and government installations in the area.
According to the words of Imo State Commissioner of Police; “On searching the camp and the surrounding 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. All recovered items were taken to the Police station.”
“On their way back, unknown to the 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 neutralized and others fled into the bush with bullet wounds. Unfortunately, one of the police Hilux vehicles was burnt due to the petrol bombs thrown on it by the ESN operatives,” The Imo State Commissioner of Police, CP Rabiu Hussaini concluded.
According to the CP, the tactical teams are presently searching the bush for the possible recovery of more arms and Improvised Explosives Devices. While commending the officers and men for being proactive, the Imo State Commissioner of Police vowed to sustain the operations and arrest all criminal elements involved in violence in Imo State particularly as the Command is commencing a mop-up operation to arrest the remaining IPOB/ ESN members terrorizing the state, a feat which has resulted in peace and tranquility in the state lately.
The Imo State Commissioner of Police also called on the people of Imo State to continue to support the police with credible information on the activities of criminal elements seen within their neighborhoods in order to rid the state of crime and criminals.