A leader of the “Unknown gunmen” popularly known as “Evil forest” terrorising Orlu and Orsu Local Government Areas of Imo State was, Sunday, gunned down at Ihioma in Orlu Local Government Area of the state by operatives of the Joint Security Task Force.
It was gathered, yesterday, that the notorious gang leader was killed during a gun battle around Akatta, Ihioma, axis of Orlu.
A security source told Vanguard: “These hoodlums entered the Orlu town through the Banana junction, shooting sporadically and you know our base is not far from the banana junction in Orlu.
“The soldiers responded and moved down to the Banana junction and by the time they saw the soldiers coming they ran towards Akatta, Ihioma axis and the soldiers followed them. It was there that they killed the gang leader.”
They also claimed that the “Evil forest” is from Amadim, Amaifeke in the Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State.
Also confirming the killing, yesterday, in Abuja, Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, said the gunman was killed in an encounter at Ihioma community in Orlu Local Government Area of the state.
Nwachukwu said troops of the 34 Artillery Brigade, Nigerian Army encountered members of the separatist group, who were firing sporadically at Banana Junction to enforce their illegal “sit-at-home” order on law-abiding citizens.
According to him, on sighting the troops, the IPOB/ESN criminals withdrew in a blue Toyota Highlander towards Ihioma community for reinforcement.
“In the firefight that ensued, one of the criminals was taken out, while others fled in disarray. Troops are combing the general area in a follow-up operation to track down the fleeing dissidents.
“Having suffered casualty and effectively denied freedom of action by the troops, the group have resorted to cheap propaganda to whip up public sentiments.“This, they have done by circulating a doctored video on the social media alleging troops’ complicity in their mindless atrocities. This propaganda should be disregarded in its entirety.”