Defence & Security

Army clears IPOB/ESN den in Imo, recovers weapons

By Paul Michael, Defence Editor

The Nigeria Army said it has cleared an enclave of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed group, Eastern Security Network (ESN). Adding that cache of weapons belonging to the group were captured by troops.

This is disclosed by the Army’s Director of Public Relations, Brig-Gen Onyema Nwachukwu, on Thursday, adding that firearms and ammunition were recovered during troops’ operations to clear separatists’ hideouts in the general area of Amaifeke – Akkatta road.

Gen Nwachukwu, who said the troops engaged in a fierce gun duel with members of the group, also assured the people and residents of the southeast that peace would be restored to the region.

He said, “Troops of 34 Brigade, Nigerian Army(NA) have captured a cache of arms and ammunition belonging to elements of the dissident group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed affiliate, Eastern Security Network(ESN), after a gun battle at Amaifeke-Akkatta Road in Orlu Local Government Area of Imo state.

“The firearms and ammunition were recovered during troops’ operations to clear separatists’ hideouts in the general area of Amaifeke – Akkatta road.

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“Troops uncovered the weapons concealed in a black Toyota Camry, after they successfully surmounted ambushes staged by members of the outlawed dissident group, who, having been overpowered by the gallant troops, abandoned their vehicle and weapons in the heat of the combat and fled the scene.

“After a thorough search, the troops recovered ten Pump Action Shotguns, seven locally fabricated guns, one locally made Revolver Pistol, eighty Live Cartridges, one Baofeng Radio and substance suspected to be gun powder. Others include Sachet of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and a Toyota Camry Saloon car.

“The Nigerian Army commends members of the public for their continued support to the military and security agencies, as they protect the citizens from atrocious activities of the outlawed dissident groups, who in defiance of law and good order have annihilated innocent Ndigbo and other Nigerians, in their enforcement of an illegal sit at home order, foisted on the good people of the South East.

“The NA urges all to continue to provide timely and credible information in support of ongoing operations to restore peace and security in the South East and other troubled parts of the country.”

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