Troops neutralise 2 IPOB/ESN elements, recover rocket launchers
Troops have neutralised two combatants of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its Eastern Security Network (ESN) along Ekeututu-Ihitte-Nansa Road in Orsu Local Government Area of Imo.
The Director Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement in Enugu on Wednesday, said that the members of the proscribed group were taken out by the joint security forces on Tuesday.
Nwachukwu said that the security personnel were drawn from 34 Artillery Brigade, Obinze, near Owerri in Imo.
He said that others were drawn from the Nigerian Navy, Air Force and other security agencies within the South-East.
He said: “The troops encountered the dissidents while carrying out a raid operation around the general area of Orsu, Ihitte, Ukwa and Ihitte-Nansa.
“The neutralised members had taken position to launch one of their primed rocket launchers, when they were engaged and taken out by the vigilant troops.
“The fearless troops were unhurt, as Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) deployed by the irredentists exploded at Ekeututu Market, destroying some of the shops in the market.
“Ekeututu Market has recently become a flash point as dissidents often ambush troops, using explosives and firearms from within and around the market, while troops are on routine patrol.”
The army spokesman said that after the incident, the Explosive Ordnance Device (EOD) team recovered several IEDs planted along the road as well as locally fabricated rocket launchers.
According to Nwachukwu, troops will continue to ensure that there is no safe haven for all criminal elements operating around Orsu and Orsumoghu areas of Imo and Anambra respectively.