Troops of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army currently conducting a special operation in the South-east, Exercise Golden Dawn, have killed four members of the proscribed separatist group, IPOB and its militant wing, ESN, during an encounter in Anambra State.
A soldier also died in the crossfire.
Army spokesperson, Onyema Nwachukwu, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday.
According to Mr Nwachukwu, the incident happened when the assailants stormed a location and attacked a group of security personnel deployed at Ekwulobia Roundabout in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The attack, according to the army, led to swift security mobilisation to the scene and subsequent pursuit of the terrorists along Nnewi – Nnobi road where the fierce encounter took place.
Mr Nwachukwu said arms and ammunition were recovered from the group during an encounter.
The resumed hostilities in the region comes about a week to the governorship election of Anambra State.
The election will hold on 6 November.
The ESN has been allegedly responsible for terrorising the region, vowing that the elections would not hold unless its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, currently standing trial, is released from detention.
Read the army’s full statement:
TROOPS NEUTRALISE IPOB/ESN GUNMEN
Recover AK-47 Rifles, vehicles, ammunition
Troops of 82 Division Nigerian Army conducting Exercise GOLDEN DAWN have neutralised four gunmen of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra/ Eastern Security Network (IPOB/ESN) in a fierce encounter at Nnobi Junction, Idemili South Local Government Area on Friday 29 October 2021. This followed the assailants’ armed attack on personnel of security agencies deployed at Ekwulobia Round About in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State, during which troops swiftly mobilised to the scene and subsequently embarked on the pursuit of the criminals along Nnewi – Nnobi road.
Troops made contact with the fleeing gunmen and engaged them in a firefight, neutralising four of the criminals.
The gallant troops also recovered two AK-47 Rifles, one GALIL Ace 5.56 x 45 Iwi Gun, one Avofeng Handheld radio and one Black Highlander jeep. Sadly, the personnel of one of the security agencies paid the supreme price.
In a separate operation, troops have foiled another attack by IPOB/ESN gunmen at Umunze Checkpoint, in Orumba South Local Government Area. The vigilant troops overwhelmed the attackers in the shootout that ensued, forcing them to take to their heels, abandoning, one Pump Action gun with nine cartridges, one dark blue Ford and four motorcycles, which the troops have recovered.
The Nigerian Army notes that the recent attacks are part of the proscribed IPOB/ESN plan to instil fear into the public and sabotage the forthcoming Anambra State Governorship Election. Members of the public are reassured that the Nigerian Army, sister services and other security agencies will not relent in resolutely confronting all criminals intents against the citizenry and national interest. Law-abiding citizens are enjoined to continue to go about their daily activities without any fear. They are also encouraged to report any unusual activity observed across Anambra State to the nearest security post.
Director Army Public Relations
30 October 2021