A police officer was, on Sunday, killed when suspected members of the outlawed Indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) attacked 3-3 Police Divisional Headquarters in Nkwelle-Ezunaka, Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State, south-east Nigeria.
The incident occurred at about 5:58 a.m.
The police spokesperson in the state, Tochukwu Ikenga, who disclosed this in a statement on Sunday, said six of the IPOB members were killed by police operatives who repelled the attack.
Mr Ikenga, a deputy superintendent of police, said the IPOB members, alongside its militant wing, Eastern Security Network, in their numbers, invaded the police facility in two SUV vehicles and a Toyota Sienna.
The police spokesperson said the hoodlums were armed with rifles and improvised explosive devices.
He said, on arrival, the attackers shot indiscriminately to gain entrance into the facility but were fiercely resisted by police operatives led by the divisional police officer who initially engaged them in a shoot-out before a reinforcement team comprising military and police mobile force operatives arrived at the scene.
“During the gun duel, unfortunately, one police operative attached to the station was fatally wounded and an office in the facility was partially affected by the petrol bomb the insurgents threw inside the station,” he said.
“Also, one patrol vehicle parked in front of the station was set ablaze by the gunmen.”
Mr Ikenga said some of the hoodlums escaped with gunshot injuries during the shoot-out. He said the situation was under control and being monitored.
“Joint operations are ongoing to track down the fleeing insurgents,” he added.
Two AK-47 rifles, a Toyota Sienna vehicle and charms were among the items recovered from the gunmen during the operation, according to the police.
Like other states in Nigeria’s south-east, security has deteriorated in Anambra State with frequent attacks by armed persons.
The attack comes barely 24 hours after gunmen bombed Ogidi Police Divisional Headquarters in the Idemili North Local Government Area of the state. Three police officers were killed in the attack.
The Ogidi attack came five days after gunmen attacked the same police facility in the council area. One of the gunmen was killed in that attack, according to the police.
Gunmen, on Thursday, attacked some officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ukpor, a community in the Nnewi South Local Government Area of the state. But the police said they foiled the attack.
Again, on 3 February, gunmen attacked the Abagana Divisional Police Headquarters in the Njikoka Local Government Area of the state. Two vigilante operatives were killed by the gunmen during the attack.
Hours after the attack in Abagana, gunmen killed a police officer and a vigilante operative in Obosi, a community in the Idemili North Local Government Area of the state. The gunmen also bombed a police anti-cult unit in the community during the attack.
Earlier this month, gunmen bombed a local office of the INEC in Ojoto, Idemili South Local Government Area and also attacked a Police Divisional Headquarters in Nnobi, another community in the same council area of the state, killing a 16-year-old boy and injuring a 15-year-old girl during the attack.
The Nigerian government has accused IPOB of being responsible for the deadly attacks in the region. But the group has repeatedly denied any involvement in the attacks.
IPOB is leading the agitation for an independent state of Biafra which it wants to be carved out from the South-east and some parts of South-south Nigeria.
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