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Two police stations attacked in Nigeria’s restive southeast

Gunmen using dynamite attacked a police station early Sunday in Nigeria's restive southeast, a day after two police constables were killed in another attack in the area, police said.

PHOTO: manny360

Gunmen using dynamite attacked a police station early Sunday in Nigeria’s restive southeast, a day after two police constables were killed in another attack in the area, police said.

The attacks in southeastern Imo state were the latest violence in the volatile region where separatist violence is on the rise.

“The gunmen came with dynamite in the early hours of today and bombed part of the station at Oru but the assault was repelled,” state police spokesman Michael Abattam told AFP.

He said four of the attackers were killed.

“Four of the gunmen were neutralised and five IED (improvised explosive devices) were recovered.”

Abattam said on Saturday that a number of gunmen armed with explosives attacked Umuguma police station outside Owerri, the state capital, leaving two police constables dead.

He said some gunmen also invaded the residence of George Obiozor, the leader of Ohanaeze, the Igbo cultural union, and destroyed part of the building with explosives.

Obiozor was not at home at the time of the attack, he said.

“We are on the trail of the attackers with a view to bringing them to justice,” he said.

Southeast Nigeria has seen a surge in violence, with more than 130 police and other security personnel killed by gunmen since last year, according to local media tallies.

Authorities have blamed attacks on either the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (POB) movement, which is campaigning for a separate state for the ethnic Igbo people, or its armed wing, known as ESN.

The group has denied responsibility for the violence.

Separatist movements in Nigeria are particularly sensitive, after a 1967 unilateral declaration of an independent Biafra republic by dissident Igbo army officers sparked a 30-month civil war.

More than one million people died, most of them Igbos, from the impact of conflict, hunger and disease.