By Augustine Ehikioya
Fighting criminality in the South East, the Joint Troops of 82 Division Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police Force have stormed the hideouts of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed affiliate, Eastern Security Network (ESN) in Abia and Enugu States.
In a fierce encounter that ensued during a clearance operation in the early hours of Monday 18 September, 2023 at Igboro Forest, between Arochukwu and Ohafia Local Government Areas of Abia State, three of the combatants were neutralized.
A statement by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General, Onyema Nwachukwu, and made available to Security Watch Africa (SWA), also disclosed that Artillery Guns were recovered.
It reads “On winning the fire fight, the troops wasted no time destroying several hideous camps used by members of the groups to perpetrate heinous crimes.
“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, the statement said, included One improvised 16 Multi 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, 6 locally made Rocket Launchers, four Improvised Explosive Devices, five Fragmental Jackets, One Baofeng Radio, Military Camouflage Uniforms and several assorted charms.
The statement went on “In a similar development that also took place in the early hours of today, 18 September, 2023, same Troops of 82 Division NA in synergy with the Nigeria Police Force, acting on credible intelligence busted IPOB/ESN hideout at Ezioha Mgbowo in Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State.
“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 fire fight that followed, as 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.” it stated.
The statement urged 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.