Troops of the Nigerian Army attached to the 82 Division have killed scores of members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) when they raided their camps at Amagu village, Nkalaha community in Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
The operation was carried out in collaboration with the operatives of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), police and the Department of State Services (DSS) under Exercise GOLDEN DAWN II, on Monday.
Army spokesman, Brig-Gen Onyema Nwachukwu, who disclosed this to newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday, explained that some members of the group that have been terrorising the South East escaped with bullet wounds.
He said, ‘’During the raid operations, the troops came in contact with members of the dissident group, resulting in an exchange of fire. In the encounter, the gallant troops neutralised some of the irredentists, while others took to their heels abandoning the camp.’’
‘’The Nigerian Army also encourages members of the public to work harmoniously with the security agencies to collectively make the South East and the entire nation secured and peaceful,’’ he added.
The Nigerian military in recent times has launched offensives against terrorists in different parts of the country with the outlawed groups recording heavy casualties.
A few days ago in Zamfara, not fewer than 180 bandits were killed in airstrikes by the NAF. Over 60 civilians used as shields by the dissidents were also killed in the crossfire.
Discoveries in South East
Nwachukwu stated that the troops recovered 102 rounds of 7.62mm special, 2 pump action guns, 5 locally made rifles, 1 roll of detonator 27, quantity 24 detonators, 33 electrical cables, quantity 12 of type 36 hand grenades and 12 bags of substances suspected to be marijuana.
He said the troops also recovered three motorcycles, 2 generators, 1 water pumping machine, military woodland camouflage and police uniforms.
The army spokesman said the troops in another operation on the same date, while on routine patrol in Agubeji community in Enugu State arrested a suspect, one Mr Martins Abogwu, for conniving with IPOB/Eastern Security Network (ESN) elements to unleash attacks on innocent citizens.
He said the suspect, who claimed he was the chief security officer of the community, was assisting in the preliminary investigations that followed and had led troops to their camp where a shallow grave containing two decomposing bodies were uncovered.
‘’One of the corpses has been identified as a member of the local vigilante, who was kidnapped about a month ago.
‘’The Nigerian Army reassures law abiding citizens of its unwavering resolve, in synergy with other services and security agencies to deny criminal elements the freedom of action and progressively rid the nation of identified threats to national security by executing its constitutional responsibilities in conformity with extant rules of engagement.
In a related development, the Director of DSS in Imo State, Wilcox Idaminabo, has announced the arrest of kingpins behind the frequent attacks, especially the burning of offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state.
He, however, did not specify the identity of the group.