Nigerian Army Troops Killed Three More Suspected Members of Outlaws Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its militant wing, the Eastern Security Network (ESN) in Abia State, southeastern Nigeria.
The thugs were killed in the early hours of Monday when a joint security team raided some hideouts of suspected IPOB members, army spokesperson Onyema Nwachukwu said in a statement on Monday afternoon.
The hideouts were in Igboro forest, which is located between Arochukwu and Ohafia local government areas of the state.
Brigadier Nwachukwu said the joint team consisted of troops and personnel of the Nigeria Police Force.
“Joint troops of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Police have neutralized three fighters of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed affiliate, Eastern Security Network (ESN), in a fierce encounter that occurred during a clearance operation,” he said.
The army spokesman said troops quickly destroyed several separatist hideouts allegedly used to perfect plans before launching attacks.
He said the hideouts were discovered after weeks of intelligence gathering operations that revealed that the hoodlums were using the forest as a combatant training ground for their members.
The hideouts were also used as a base to plan and launch attacks on residents of the state, security agents and government installations in the state, he said.
According to the military, among the items recovered from the suspects were a 16-barrel improvised rocket launcher, a vehicle-mounted weapon, a 12-barrel improvised rocket launcher, and a six-barrel improvised rocket launcher.
Others include an AK-47 rifle, a Dane pistol, six locally made rocket launchers, four improvised explosive devices, five fragmentary jackets, a Baofeng radio set, camouflage military uniforms and a variety of amulets.
Newslodge earlier reported how troops and police officers killed three more suspected IPOB members in a separate operation in Enugu State, still in the southeast.
IPOB is leading the agitation for an independent state of Biafra, which it wants to separate from southeastern and some parts of south-south Nigeria.