Nigerian troops kill more suspected IPOB members in South-east

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Some police operatives took part in the operation, the army said.

Troops of the Nigerian Army have killed three more suspected members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its militant wing, Eastern Security Network (ESN) in Abia State, Nigeria’s South-east.

The hoodlums were killed at early hours of Monday when a joint security team raided some hideouts of the suspected IPOB members, the army spokesperson, Onyema Nwachukwu, said in a statement, Monday afternoon.

The hideouts were at Igboro Forest, which is between Arochukwu and Ohafia Local Government Areas of the state.

Mr Nwachukwu, a brigadier-general, said the joint team comprised the troops and personnel of the Nigeria Police Force.

“The joint troops of 82 Division of the Nigerian army and the Nigeria Police have neutralised three combatants of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed affiliate, Eastern Security Network (ESN) in a fierce encounter that ensued during a clearance operation,” he said.

The army spokesperson said the troops quickly destroyed several hideouts of the separatists allegedly used to perfect plans before launching attacks.

He said the hideouts were uncovered after weeks of intelligence-gathering operation revealed that the hoodlums were using the forest as a combatant training ground for their members.

The hideouts were also being used as a base for planning and launching attacks on residents of the state, security operatives and government facilities in the state, he said.

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One improvised 16 multi barrel rocket launcher, gun mounted on a vehicle, one improvised 12 multi barrel rocket launcher gun and one improvised six multi barrel rocket launcher gun were among the items recovered from the suspects, according to the army.

Others are one AK-47 rifle, one dane gun, six locally made rocket launchers, four improvised explosive devices, five fragmental jackets, a baofeng radio set, military camouflage uniforms and assorted charms.

PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported how the troops and police operatives killed three other suspected IPOB members in a separate operation in Enugu State, still in the South-east.

IPOB is leading the agitation for an independent state of Biafra, which it wants carved out from the South-east and some parts of the South-south Nigeria.

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