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Army, others raid IPOB camps, many killed

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Many members of the paramilitary organisation of the Indigenous People of Biafra have been killed during joint operations by security agencies in Ebonyi and Enugu States.

The security operatives, consisting of men from the Department of State Security Services, the Police, the Air Force, and the Nigerian Army, were said to have engaged members of the group in a gun battle during the raid on their camps in the two states.

A statement by the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General, Onyema Nwachukwu, on Wednesday said some members of the group were killed while others fled with gunshot injuries.

He listed pump-action guns, grenades, military camouflage, and police uniform, among others, as items recovered after the operation in Ebonyi.

The statement partly read, “Troops of 82 Division, in conjunction with the Nigerian Air Force, Nigeria Police, and Department of State Services on Exercise Golden Dawn II on December 19, 2022, conducted joint raid operations at an IPOB/ESN camp located at Amagu village, Nkalaha community, Ishielu LGA of Ebonyi State.

    “During the raid operations, the troops came into 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.

    “On winning the firefight, 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. Other items recovered include three motorcycles, two generators, one water pumping machine, military woodland camouflage, and a Nigerian police uniform.”

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    In Enugu, Onyema said troops arrested the community’s chief security officer for colluding with IPOB members.

    “Troops on routine patrol in the Agubeji community in Enugu State have arrested a suspect, one Mr Martins Abogwu, for conniving with IPOB/ESN elements to unleash attacks on innocent citizens.

    “The suspect, who claimed he is the Chief Security Officer of the community, is assisting in the preliminary investigations that followed and have led troops to their camp, where a shallow grave containing two decomposing bodies was uncovered. One of the corpses has been identified as a member of the local vigilante, who was kidnapped about a month ago.”

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