From George Onyejiuwa and Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
Gunmen have allegedly killed two police officers attached to Umulowo Police Division, in Obowo, Imo State, seriously injuring three others.
A reliable source in the community who confided to Sunday Sun revealed that the gunmen who operated in a vehicle met stiff opposition from the policemen who were on duty when they tried to gain access into the police premises.
Apparently angered by the effort of the police officers at resisting them, the hoodlums opened fire on the officers, killing two policemen on the spot.
Our reporter also learnt that one of the gunmen was killed in the gun duel but his gang members escaped with his body.
The source said: “Two policemen died in the incident. Three were wounded. One of the hoodlums was also killed but they escaped with his body. The policemen who were killed were the ones who repelled them. It was an unfortunate development.
“This incident happened around 2.00am; we started hearing gunshots but when some of us got to the scene, we met some of the officers dead while some were critically injured.
“The bandits tried to gain access into the police armoury and also tried to release some detainees but were resisted by the policemen on duty.”
Meanwhile, it has been speculated that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) might be behind the attack, especially after a similar incident that occurred on Friday in Ebonyi State where a police post was razed in Onicha area of the state.
But the Media and Publicity Secretary of IPOB, Emma Powerful, has dismissed the rumour, insisting that the group has always been the victim of violent killing by the Nigerian security agents.
“They have killed our members several times and we have not retaliated; we do not have the mandate to do so. Those accusing us are the same Fulani we want to protect our people from.
“We remain a non-violent movement; we don’t bear arms and not known for violence. Let the Nigerian security agents go and search and see where the problems are coming from,” Powerful said.
However, the development has caused serious panic as some families in the community have fled their homes to neighbouring communities for safety.
The Imo State Police Public Relations Officer, Orlando Ikeokwu, a Superintendent of Police, confirmed the incident.
“We got a report that Obowo Police Division was attacked and two officers were killed and three injured.
“The gunmen could not gain access to the police armoury and I assure you that the flying bandits must be apprehended,” he said.
He disclosed that the three policemen who were injured during the attack had been discharged from a local hospital where they were rushed to; they were transferred to a better hospital in the state capital.
Ikeokwu, also disclosed that the command had drafted teams of detectives to the area adding that investigation into the incident had already commenced.