Several members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Eastern Security Network (ESN) were killed, on Friday, in a clash with the police during a raid on their camp located at Akata in Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State.
It was reported that security operatives also suffered heavy casualties when some groups of IPOB/ESN laid ambush against their vehicles while the police personnel were returning from the raid.
It was gathered that the bandits threw petrol bombs and Improvised Explosives Devices (I.E.Ds) at the police vehicles, causing heavy casualties.
Credible information by the Imo Command’s intelligence unit revealed that some bandits suspected to be IPOB/ESN terror groups were seen mobilising to attack police formations and government installations from their camp located at Akata in Oru East council of Imo State.
It was learnt that the Commissioner of Police, Hussaini Rabiu immediately, dispatched the command’s Special Forces and tactical teams led by the officer- in- charge of Operation Restore Peace, ACP Evans Shem to dislodge the bandits as a proactive measure to nip their planned attack on the bud.
The Police spokesman in the state, CSP Michael Abattam, who disclosed these in a statement, said on approaching the camp, the police teams were attacked by the terror groups.
He said in the battle that ensued, the head of the IPOB/ESN group and others were neutralised.
He said items recovered include three Improvised Explosives Devices (I.E.D), two pump action guns, nine cartridges, one locally made pistol and one Toyota Highlander SUV vehicle with registration number IMO DFB 535 LC.
According to him, on their way back unknown to police teams, the bandits had reinforced and regrouped, using palm tree logs to block the entire exit paths in the bush.
“It was at the fourth blockade that the police teams 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 (I.E.Ds) at the police vehicles,” he stated.
He said that the police teams successfully dislodged the bandits where several of them were neutralised and others fled into the bush with bullets injuries.
“Unfortunately, one of the police Hilux vehicle was burnt due to the petrol bombs thrown on it.”
He informed three police officers sustained bullet injuries and were rushed to the hospital while one of them died on the way.
The two other officers, according to him, were in stable condition undergoing treatment in a government hospital.