After some calm in the level of insecurity in the South-East region of the country, the Imo State Police Command has confirmed that it killed three suspected members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) the militia arm of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) after the ESN men allegedly attacked the Izombe Police Station in Oguta Local Government Area of the state.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Michael Abattam, disclosed the development to newsmen in Owerri, on Saturday, stating that the command also lost two of its officers in the attack.
According to Abattam, the incident happened at about 02:45 pm on Friday, while the police repelled the attackers from destroying the Police Station.
He said apart from the three suspected ESN men that were gunned down; others sustained gunshot wounds and fled into the bushes, noting that the Police had called on the members of the community to assist the Command on the whereabouts of the fleeing suspects.
The statement read, “On 13/8/2021 at about 02:45 hours, armed bandits suspected to be members of the proscribed IPOB/ ESN terror group, came in their numbers to attack Izombe Police Station but could not gain access to the station due to the swift response of the ever-alert Imo Command’s Tactical teams and Personnel of Operation Restore Peace of the command who intercepted and repelled the bandits.
“The bandits who on sighting the police engaged them in a gun duel were subdued, due to the superior firepower of the police. They fled into the bush and in the process three of the bandits were neutralised and their arms, one pump action gun with two rounds of live cartridges and one locally made double barrel pistol with two expended cartridges were recovered from them to the station while others escaped into the bush with bullet wounds. Unfortunately, the command lost two of its gallant officers in the attack.
“Meanwhile, the tactical teams are present in pursuit of the bandits and combing the bushes for the arrest of the fleeing bandits and possible recovery of their arms. The command is using this medium to call on the good people of Imo State especially, the Izombe community to assist the police with credible information that will lead to the arrest of the fleeing bandits and to report to the nearest police station any person(s) seen with bullet wounds. Also, hospitals are advised to ensure that they report any person(s) who come to them for treatment of bullet wounds.”
It would be recalled that relative peace returned to the region, especially in Imo State, after an ESN camp at Akabo in the Ikeduru Local Government Area of the state was dislodged by the Nigeria police.
Ripples Nigeria reported that the operation, led by the former leader of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team, DCP Abba Kyari, and other security operatives also led to the freeing of a policewoman, allegedly held captive by the dislodged ESN men.
ESN has been blamed by the government and security agencies for causing unrest in the South-East and attacking public facilities, however, the leader of the group, Nnamdi Kanu, who is currently facing trial by the Nigerian government had continued to deny the allegations, saying ESN was formed to curb attacks by herdsmen in the region.
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