Troops neutralise IPOB/ESN combatants in Abia, Enugu

Troops of 82 Division, Nigerian Army, and the Nigerian Police have neutralised six combatants of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed affiliate, Eastern Security Network (ESN) in different encounters in Abia and Enugu States.

This is contained in a statement by the Director of Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, on Monday in Abuja.

Nwachukwu said the troops had eliminated three IPOB/ESN gunmen in a fierce encounter during a clearance operation in the early hours of Monday at Igboro Forest, between Arochukwu and Ohafia Local Government Areas of Abia.

He said the troops also destroyed several hideous camps used by the groups to perpetrate heinous crimes.

According to him, 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 multi barrel rocket Launcher (MBRL), Gun mounted on a vehicle, one improvised 12 MBRL gun, one improvised 6 MBRL Gun and one AK 47 rifle.

“Also recovered are one dane gun, six locally-made rocket launchers, four Improvised Explosive Devices, five fragmental jackets, one baofeng radio, military camouflage uniforms and several assorted charms,” he said.

Nwachukwu further said that the same troops also busted IPOB/ESN hideout at Ezioha Mgbowo in Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu state, on Monday, acting on credible intelligence.

He said the armed fighters were perfecting plans to enforce the illegal sit-at-home order in the area, when the vigilant troops swooped on them.

According to him, armed fighters, who opened fire on sighting troops approaching their camp, were, however, defeated in the fire fight that followed when the troops responded with overwhelming fire power, neutralizing three of the fighters, while others fled in disarray.

“The troops recovered three Pump Action Guns and 10 Machetes from the fleeing fighters.

“Members of the public are implored 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,” he added.