Nigerian soldiers have killed many members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), the paramilitary arm of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The IPOB fighters were killed during a gun battle with soldiers of the Nigerian Army and other security forces in Anambra State.
According to a statement on Tuesday by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, the gun battle took place on Monday at Lilu Forest in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State
Lilu is a border town between Imo and Anambra States and according to the Army statement, the forest has served as an operational hideout for the IPOB/ESN members.
The statement by Nwachukwu revealed that several weapons and items including 10 Pump Action Shotguns, two locally fabricated guns, One Revolver pistol, rounds of 7.62 mm special, live cartridges, machetes and IPOB flags were recovered from the battle scene.
He said: “Troops of the Nigerian Army(NA) in a joint operation conducted with other security agencies have dislodged a notorious stronghold of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra ( IPOB) and its armed affiliate, Eastern Security Network (ESN) at Lilu Forest in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State. Lilu is a border town between Imo and Anambra States, which was hitherto known to be used as an operational base of the dissidents.
“The operations, which was conducted in the early hours of Monday 17 January 2022, led to the neutralization of some gunmen in a fire fight that ensued.
After dislodging the dissidents from their fortress, the dogged troops recovered 10 Pump Action Shotguns, two locally fabricated guns, One Revolver pistol, rounds of 7.62 mm special, live cartridges, machettes and IPOB flags. Other items recovered are mobile phones, laptops amongst other dangerous weapons.
“The operation was jointly conducted by troops of 82 Division, Nigerian Navy, 211 Quick Response Group of the Nigerian Air Force, Department of State Services and the Nigeria Police. It was a well-coordinated dawn attack on the fortress, where plans were been perfected to violently enforce the illegitimate sit-at-home declaration by the irredentist groups.”