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Nigerian forces, operating in the South East part of the nation, have reported the elimination of three suspected members of the banned Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its Eastern Security Network (ESN), and the capture of two others in distinct operations.
Lt.-Col. Jonah Unuakhalu, the acting Deputy Director of Army Public Relations, 82 Division, released this information in a statement on Saturday in Enugu.
In the statement, Unuakhulu outlined the operations, stating that under “Operation UDO KA II,” forces undertook a clearance mission in Orsumoghu Forest within Anambra’s Ihiala Local Government Area, resulting in the termination of two terrorists.
Additionally, he noted that the clearance operation targeted suspected hideouts of IPOB/ESN, who employed Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) as a tactic to hinder the advancement of the troops.
Meanwhile, he stated that the troops were able to drive out the group, neutralizing two members, with the remaining individuals escaping with gunshot wounds.
‘Items recovered from the camps included a pair of military boots, one military belt, five mobile phones, one binoculars, leather hand gloves and police head warmer.’
‘Others were one locally-made handheld IED and four locally-made IED launchers (Ogbunigwe),’ he stated.
He also mentioned that on Thursday, during a search-and-rescue operation in Effium, within Ebonyi’s Ohaukwu Local Government Area, troops from Sector 2 of “Operation UDO KA II” detained a suspected gun trafficker.
He pointed out that the detained gun trafficker, Francis Nwekire, aged 63, was arrested at his residence with 48 rounds of 7.62 mm special ammunition.
‘Additionally, a suspected Effium Militia in Ebonyi was arrested and he led troops to their hideout.’
‘Items recovered from the hideout were one AK 47 rifle, 20 rounds of 7.62 mm special ammunition and one AK 47 magazine.’
‘Both suspects are presently in troops’ custody for further interrogation,’ he stated.
Unuakhalu also stated that troops of Naval Base, Oguta, under “Operation UDO KA II’’ began “Operation IRON TETE’’ on Friday to flush out IPOB/ESN elements from Agwa community in Imo.
He further added that during the operation, a confirmed member of the group, the renowned local gun fabricator nicknamed “Packing Store,” was eliminated. He noted that the seized items included one pump-action rifle, one locally-made pistol, and a head warmer adorned with the IPOB inscription.
‘Operation UDO KA II calls on law-abiding citizens of the Southeast not to relent in providing timely, credible and reliable information that will assist in ending this menace in the region.’
‘Operation UDO KA II will continue combating crime and criminality in accordance with extant rules and regulations guiding its operations,’ Unuakhalu stressed.