Some men suspected to be members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed affiliate, Eastern Security Network (ESN) have been killed by Nigerian soldiers.
Two of the gunmen were killed while four others were arrested.
The incident happened during a fierce gun battle along Orlu-Orsu road in Imo State on Monday when the troops were on routine patrol in the area, according to Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement.
He said the suspected IPOB members on sighting the troops engaged them in a gun battle.
According to him: “The troops, while on routine patrol made contact with elements of IPOB/ESN around the general area of Aluminium Company and All Saints Church. On sighting the patrol team, the criminal elements opened fire and launched grenade attack on the troops.
“The vigilant troops responded with superior firepower, neutralising two of the criminal elements, compelling others to flee in disarray.
“In a hot pursuit that followed the encounter, troops arrested four of the fleeing gunmen and recovered one AK 47 rifle, two magazines, one Police grenade launcher, two Baofeng communication radios, five mobile phones, one IPOB Beret, two Motorcycles, four SIM cards, five wallets containing different ID cards, afrodisiac, charms and the sum of sixteen thousand four hundred and sixty Naira.
“Preliminary investigation on the suspects’ mobile phones reveals gory pictures and videos depicting scenes of cold-blooded murders, corpses displayed in shrines and other heinous atrocities committed by the criminals.”