Molly Kilete, Abuja
Security operatives comprising personnel from the Nigerian Army, Police and the Department of State Services (DSS) have destroyed the operational base and headquarters of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB), located at Awomama Village In Oru East, Imo State.
The security operatives were also said to have killed the commander of the group in the South East, popularly known as Ikonso Commander, and six other fighters in an operation conducted in the early hours of Saturday.
Commander Ikonso is also said to be the Vice President Designate as well as the coordinator of all the militia operations of the group in the region.
Three policemen and an army officer who sustained gunshot injuries during the operation are said to be receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital.
The operation was undertaken following attacks on the Imo State Police Command and a correctional facility by the members of the separatist group.
Six AK-47 rifles, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and an array of charms were said to have been recovered from the group.
A security source, who does not want to be mentioned in print, told Sunday Sun that the operatives of the Nigeria Police Force and their counterparts from the Nigerian Army and DSS in a joint operation, in the early hours of Saturday, April 24, stormed the operational headquarters of the IPOB militia in Awomama village Oru East. The Insurgents are reportedly responsible for the attack on the Imo State Police Headquarters and the headquarters of the Nigerian Correctional Service on April 5.
They have also carried out series of calculated, violent attacks on security personnel and formations in the South East and South-South of the country.
The source said that ‘as the security forces approached the base of the insurgents, they came under rapid fire from the group. In a bold and clinical response, the joint security forces fought back gallantly. The Forces eventually neutralised the overall commander of the insurgents in the South East, popularly known as Ikonso Commander, and six (6) other armed fighters of the insurgent group. Commander Ikonso is known as the Vice President designate as well as the coordinator of all the militia operations of the group. He was the mastermind and coordinator of the attack on the Imo Police Headquarters and several other attacks on security and military personnel and facilities.
‘The operation is part of deliberate effort by the Police and other security forces to quel the activities of insurgents in Imo State and other States of the South East and South South region of the country.
‘After the fierce gun battle, the security team recovered the remains of Ikonso Commander and the six (6) of his fighters. Several sophisticated weapons including six (6) AK-47 rifles, hundreds of ammunition of different calibers and lots of charmsm including “Bullet Proof” charms, were recovered from the insurgents.’