Gunmen attack army checkpoint, two feared killed

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Two persons were feared killed on Tuesday when gunmen attacked an army checkpoint in Amodu Awkunanaw, a community in Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State, Nigeria’s South-east. Some soldiers, together with some police officers, were at the checkpoint for a joint operation when the gunmen attacked them. The incident occurred at about 7 a.m. The gunmen, who reportedly stormed the checkpoint in two Lexus SUVs and one Toyota Sienna vehicle, opened fire on the soldiers and police officers. There was a shootout, Easterner learnt. Sources said although the number of casualties and their identities were not clear, at least two persons were killed during the shootout. When contacted, the police spokesperson in the state, Daniel Ndukwe, confirmed the incident to Easterner.

Mr Ndukwe, however, said he did not have the details because he was yet to be “fully briefed” on the attack. He said the attackers sustained gunshot injuries during the shootout with the security agencies. The police have launched a manhunt for the fleeing suspects, he said.

Increased attacks

Enugu, like other states in Nigeria’s South-east, has witnessed an increase in deadly attacks lately. The latest incident comes about three weeks after gunmen killed the wife of a leader of a local vigilante operative in Umuopu, Enugu-Ezike, a community in Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of the state. Days after, gunmen also killed three police officers at New Haven, Enugu North Local Government Area of the state.

Earlier in September, gunmen attacked members of the Labour Party (LP) who were holding a meeting in Awgu Community, Awgu Local Government Area of the state. Some LP members were also attacked on 31 August by gunmen in Nenwe, a community in Aninri Local Government Area of the state. Gunmen, in June, attacked a police checkpoint along Agbani Road in Enugu South Local Government Area of the state. Two officers were feared killed in the attack. A police officer was killed in mid-June by gunmen who attacked a police checkpoint in Ibagwa-Ani, a community in Nsukka Local Government Area of the state.

Two police officers were also killed on 2 June when gunmen attacked Mkpamte Community in the Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of the state. The Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, recently banned the operations of motorcycles and tricycles in some local government areas to check the frequent attacks in the state. The governor later lifted the ban following public outcry, and assurances from leaders of the transport unions to assist the government in bringing an end to the attacks. The attacks, mostly targeted at security officials and government facilities, have been attributed to the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) which is agitating for a sovereign state for the Igbo-speaking people in the South-east. The IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, is detained in Abuja where he is standing trial for terrorism.

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