This is as the army accused the outlawed group of carrying out its recent attacks in order to create panic ahead of the November 6 governorship election in the state.
According to a statement by the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, the armed IPOB members attacked security operatives attached to Ekwulobia Roundabout in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State and fled.
He added the troops went after the fleeing gunmen and engaged them in a gun duel. He however regretted that a security agent died.
The statement titled, ‘Troops neutralise IPOB/ESN gunmen’ partly read, “Troops of 82 Division of the Nigerian Army conducting Exercise Golden Dawn have neutralised four gunmen of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra/Eastern Security Network in a fierce encounter at Nnobi Junction, Idemili South Local Government Area on Friday.
“This followed the assailants’ armed attack on personnel of security agencies deployed at Ekwulobia Roundabout in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State, during which troops swiftly mobilised to the scene and subsequently embarked on a pursuit of the criminals along Nnewi – Nnobi Road.
“Troops made contact with the fleeing gunmen and engaged them in a fierce fight, neutralising four of the criminals.”
He said the troops also recovered two AK-47 rifles, one GALIL Ace 5.56 x 45 Iwi Gun, one Avofeng Handheld radio and one Black Highlander sport utility vehicle.
Meanwhile, Onyema said in a separate operation, troops foiled another attack by IPOB/ESN gunmen at Umunze Checkpoint, in Orumba South Local Government Area.
According to him the troops overwhelmed the attackers in the shootout that ensued, forcing them to take to their heels, abandoning one Pump Action gun with nine cartridges, one dark blue Ford and four motorcycles, which the troops had recovered.
He however said the attacks were meant to sabotage the Anambra election.
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