Two killed as police battle suspected IPOB members in gun duel


The police in Enugu State, South-east Nigeria, say they have killed two suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed militant wing Eastern Security Network (ESN) in the state.
The police spokesperson in the state, Daniel Ndukwe, said this in a statement on Wednesday.
Mr Ndukwe, a deputy superintendent of police, said the suspects were killed at about 2 a.m. on Wednesday when police operatives raided their camp inside a forest in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of the state.

The spokesperson said operatives of the command serving at Igbo-Etiti Police Division carried out the operation in collaboration with members of a Neighborhood Watch Group in the area.

He said the operation was conducted in response to receipt of a tip-off that suspected IPOB and ESN members erected a camp in the area.

“The criminals opened fire on the operatives upon sighting them.
“However, the operatives returned fire at a superior level, forcing the criminals to escape with varying degrees of gunshot wounds,” he said.

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“Thereafter, two of the fleeing suspects’ bodies were discovered and recovered in the forest.”
One AK-47 rifle, four magazines loaded with 75 live 7.62 mm calibre ammunition, and one Beretta pistol loaded with eight live 9 mm calibre ammunition were among items recovered from the suspects, according to the police.
Other recovered items were two motorcycles, one GTBank ATM card, a cash sum of N2,600 and several food items.

‘Numerous heinous crimes’
Mr Ndukwe said investigations suggest that the group was responsible for “numerous heinous crimes” in the Nsukka Area of the state, including a recent attack and murder of police and other security personnel.
“The manhunt for others on the run is ongoing,’’ he said.
He said the Commissioner of Police in the state, Kanayo Uzuegbu, has commended the security personnel for the success of the operation.
Mr Uzuegbu called on owners of medical facilities and residents of the area to report to the police any individual seen with gunshot wounds around their neighbourhood.
The police commissioner also directed area commanders, divisional police officers, and heads of tactical squads to ensure that they identify other criminal hideouts in their operational jurisdictions and track down such criminals.
IPOB, an outlawed group seeking to carve out South-east and some parts of neighbouring states out of Nigeria as a sovereign state of Biafra, has been linked to some deadly attacks in the region and its environs.
But the separatist group has repeatedly denied any involvement in the attacks.

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