In what will come across as a really startling development, a policeman has been killed alongside two suspected militants of the Indigenous People of Biafra during a gun battle in Agwa, Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State.
The incident happened on Friday when operatives of Imo State Police Command’s Tactical Teams exchanged gun with the fighters, suspected to be members of IPOB and its armed affiliate, Eastern Security Network (ESN), according to a police release.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Michael Abattam, in a statement, said other policemen were injured but had been taken and treated at the hospital for the minor injuries they sustained.
According to the police spokesman, corpses of the hoodlums were later deposited in the Federal Medical Centre’s mortuary in Owerri, while investigation was ongoing.
“ESN members in their numbers emerged from the surrounding bushes, shooting sporadically at the policemen while conducting stop and search duty.
“The officers, who swiftly took cover and responded, engaged them in a fierce gun duel, while they called for backup from the Divisional Police Headquarters, Agwa.
“On arrival, they positioned themselves strategically and professionally engaged the hoodlums in a fire fight. For the operatives’ superior firepower and number, they were able to neutralise two of the hoodlums while others fled in disarray with bullet wounds into the bush.
“The police operatives tactically chased the hoodlums, in the process, combing the bush for possible recoveries of their arms and arrest of the fleeing suspects. However, two locally made double barrel guns with seven live cartridges and ten expended cartridges were recovered at the scene.”
The Commissioner of Police, Imo Command, CP Mohammed Ahmed Barde, while consoling with the family of the officer who lost his life gallantly, advised the officers and men not to relent in their efforts until all criminal elements are apprehended and made to face the full wrath of the law.
He then appealed to Imo residents to give continuous support and collaboration to the security agencies and to report any person seen treating bullet wounds or hiding within the community, to the nearest police station for prompt action.