Troops of the 82nd Division of the Nigerian Army, in collaboration with operatives of the Nigerian Police, neutralized three combatants of the Indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB)and Eastern Security Network (ESN) in Abia State in the early hours of Monday.
This was disclosed in a statement on Monday by Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, Director of Army Public Relations.
The troops who engaged the IPOB/ESN members in a fierce battle at Igboro Forest, between Arochukwu and Ohafia Local Government Areas of Abia State, raided the “hideous camps used by members of the groups to perpetrate heinous crimes.”
According to the statement, “on winning the firefight, the troops wasted no time destroying several hideous camps used by members of the groups to perpetrate heinous crimes.”
The statement further added that “the camps were uncovered after several weeks of credible surveillance revealed that IPOB/ESN were using the forest as a combat training ground for their members and as a base for planning and launching attacks on targeted civilians, security operatives, and government facilities in the state.
“On further exploiting the camp, the gallant troops recovered several weapons and ammunition, amongst others.
“The items recovered include one improvised 16-barrel rocket launcher (MBRL) gun mounted on a vehicle, one improvised 12 MBRL gun, one improvised 6 MBRL gun, one AK 47 rifle, one Dane gun, six locally made rocket launchers, four improvised explosive devices, five fragmentary jackets, one Baofeng radio, military camouflage uniforms, and several assorted charms.”
Brigadier Nwachuwku also disclosed that another raid on IPOB/ESN hideouts was carried out at Ezioha Mgbowo in Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State, where “the armed fighters were perfecting plans to enforce the illegal sit-at-home order in the area.”
“In a similar development that also took place in the early hours of today, September 18, 2023, the same troops of 82 Division NA, in synergy with the Nigerian Police Force, acting on credible intelligence, busted an IPOB/ESN hideout at Ezioha Mgbowo in Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State,” the statement reads.
“The armed fighters were perfecting plans to enforce the illegal sit-at-home order in the area when the vigilant troops swooped on them.
“The armed fighters, who opened fire on sighting troops approaching their camp, were however defeated in the firefight that followed, as the troops responded with overwhelming firepower, neutralising three of the fighters while others fled in disarray.
“The troops recovered three pump-action guns and 10 machetes from the fleeing fighter.”
Nwachukwu implored members of the public “to continue to support the Nigerian Army and other security agencies with credible information to enhance the fight against terrorism, insurgency, and other criminal activities.”