A camp allegedly belonging to the Eastern Security Network (ESN) and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has been raided by the tactical team of the Nigeria Police Force, Imo State Command in Izombe, the Oguta Local Government Area. CSP Michael Abattam, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), stated in a release on Friday that the raid on the hoodlums’ camp came after a thorough investigation of technical intelligence and reliable information on the group’s activities.
The police spokesman claimed that when the criminals saw the police officers, they started a gunfight with them but were defeated by their greater weaponry and professional positioning. He claimed that during the intense gunfight, the thugs lost a significant number of members, forcing them to flee into the bush while still carrying varied degrees of bullet wounds.
He said, “Following their removal, the operatives moved in and carried out a comprehensive search of the camp, discovering the following items: three English-made Pump Action Guns, 118 GPMG ammunition, 41 AK-47 live ammunition, 19 G3 ammunitions, One (1) cut to size locally made double barrel, one locally made double barrel, 4 locally made pistols, 4 locally made explosive devices, military uniforms, police uniforms, Biafra flags, four ESN caps, 1 pair of police boot, various types of hard drugs, some police accoutrements, 4 live tortoises, large quantities of weeds suspected to be Indian hemp, and pieces of red cloths were recovered to the station.”
He claimed that following the successful operation, the agents were ambushed by the hoodlums who then engaged them in another gunfight as they were exiting the hoodlums’ den. According to the PPRO, the operatives were able to overpower the thugs during the exchange of gunfire, and in the process, five of them were neutralised.
“Sadly, three (3) police officers received non-life-threatening injuries and were transported to a government hospital for treatment,” he noted.
He also stated that after their defeat, the gunmen launched a retribution attack in the villages, setting fire to the residences of active and former police personnel as well as those of other security organisations. According to CSP, homes belonging to people they believe to be security agency informants were also destroyed by fire.