The police command in Imo says its operatives have killed five members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)/Eastern Security Network (ESN) in the state.
The members of the proscribed group were said to have been killed on Friday when police officers raided the group’s newly created camp in Izombe community in Oguta LGA.
Michael Abattam, the command’s spokesperson, said the police worked on credible intelligence on the activities of the group in the LGA.
He said the group on sighting the police engaged them in a shootout.
Abattam said the operatives recovered three English-made pump action guns, 118 GPMG ammunition, 41 AK 47 live ammunition, 19 G3 ammunition, one cut-to-size locally made double-barrel and one locally-made double-barrel.
According to him, four locally-made pistols, four locally-made explosive devices, military and police uniforms, Biafran flags, four ESN caps, one pair of police boots, various types of hard drugs and some police accoutrements, were also recovered.
“During the fierce gun battle, the hoodlums suffered huge casualties with various degrees of bullet wounds,” he said in a statement.
“After the successful raid, the operatives while leaving the camp were ambushed some distance away by the hoodlums, who engaged them in another gun duel.
“During the exchange of gunfire, the operatives were able to subdue them and, in the process, five of them were neutralised. Unfortunately, three police operatives sustained not life-threatening injuries and were taken to a government hospital where they were treated.”
Abattam said after the group had been neutralised by the police, some hoodlums “went for reprisal attack in the villages, burning houses belonging to both serving and retired police officers and other security agencies.”
He said that houses belonging to persons suspected to be informants to security agencies were also destroyed.
He said police had beefed up security in the area in order to protect people’s lives and property.
Abattam called on the Hunters Association in the area to collaborate with security agencies by giving them information on criminal hideouts noticed in the bushes.