Imo State Police Command says its operatives raided a camp run by members of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and their armed group, Eastern Security Network, in Izombe, in Oguta, killing five of their members.
The Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Mike Abattam, in a statement noted that the command’s tactical teams on 25/8/2022 at 4: 30 pm, after information on the clandestine activities of IPOB and its armed affiliate, ESN in Izombe, mobilized and raided the identified camp newly created by the hoodlums in Izombe community in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State.
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He said that the hoodlums on sighting the police operatives engaged them in a gun battle but were overwhelmed by the superior firepower of the police operatives.
Abattam said, “During the fierce gun battle, the hoodlums suffered a huge casualty which resulted in them retreating, escaping into the bush with various degrees of bullet wounds.
“The operatives after dislodging the hoodlums moved in and conducted a thorough search of the camp where they recovered the following items; Three English-made pump action guns, 118 GPMG ammunition; 41 AK 47 live ammunition, 19 G3 ammunitions, one cut to size locally made double barrel, one locally made double barrel and four locally made pistols.”
Moreso, Abattam further added that other items recover by the police personnel during the raid included; four locally made explosive devices, military uniforms, police uniforms, Biafra flags, four ESN caps, a pair of police boot, various types of hard drugs, some police accoutrements, four live tortoises, large quantities of weeds suspected to be Indian hemp, and pieces of red cloths. The PPRO stated that the recovered items have been taken to the police station.
He said that after the successful raid, the operatives while leaving the hoodlums’ den were ambushed some distance away, and they were engaged in another gun duel. During the exchange of gunfire, the operatives were able to subdue the hoodlums and in the process five of them were neutralised.
Three police operatives were said to have sustained no life-threatening injuries and were taken to a government hospital where they were treated.
Hd added that the hoodlums realizing they have suffered a heavy defeat went for a reprisal attack in the villages, burning houses belonging to both serving and retired police officers and other security agencies.
“Furthermore, houses belonging to persons they suspect are informants to security agencies were equally burnt down,” the PPRO added.
Abattam said that the community has been fortified with enough police operatives and other security officers to protect lives and properties while efforts are on top gear to arrest the fleeing suspects.
He further called on the Hunters Association to collaborate with security agencies by giving them information on criminal hideouts observed in the bushes.
He advised that communities should not allow their areas to be used as safe haven for the commission of heinous crimes and to report suspicious activities or any person observed treating bullet wounds to the nearest police station or call the Command’s emergency numbers: 08034773600 or 08098880197.