A police officer was, on Monday, killed when gunmen attacked a police checkpoint in Abakiliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria’s south-east.
The incident happened at about 8 p.m.
Sources said the gunmen stormed the checkpoint on a motorcycle and opened fire on the police operatives.
But the operatives returned the fire, which led to a shoot-out.
The shootout forced residents to scamper for safety, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.
A resident of the area, Chika Mba, told PREMIUM TIMES that two persons were killed during the shoot-out.
“Two people died in the shoot-out. But I don’t know their identities yet,” she said.
Other sources claimed that two members of the Ebubeagu Security Network were killed in the attack.
PREMIUM TIMES could not, however, confirm the claim.
When contacted on Tuesday, the police spokesperson in the state, Chris Anyanwu, confirmed the incident to PREMIUM TIMES.
“One policeman killed by unknown gunmen. One of the hoodlums also neutralized,” Mr Anyawu, a superintendent of police, said in a text message in response to enquiries about the incident.
Like other states in Nigeria’s south-east, security has deteriorated in Ebonyi State lately with frequent attacks by armed men.
The latest incident occurs about one week after suspected arsonists set ablaze a local office of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Iboko, a community in Izzi Local Government Area of the state.
The Nigerian government has accused Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) of being responsible for the deadly attacks in the region. But the group has repeatedly denied any involvement in the attacks.
The separatist group is leading 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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