Troops of the 34 Artillery Brigade, Nigerian Army, have neutralised a notorious gunman of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed affiliate, Eastern Security Network (ESN), in Imo State.
Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, stated in Abuja on Monday that the gunman was killed in an encounter at Ihioma Community in Orlu Local Government Area of the state.
Nwachukwu said troops encountered members of the separatist group who were firing sporadically at Banana Junction to enforce their illegal “sit- at-home’’ order on law-abiding citizens.
According to him, on sighting the troops, the IPOB/ESN criminals withdrew in a blue Toyota Highlander towards Ihioma community for reinforcement.
“In the fire fight that ensued, one of the criminals was taken out, while others fled in disarray.
“Troops are combing the general area in a follow-up operation to track down the fleeing dissidents.
“Having suffered casualty and effectively denied freedom of action by the troops, the group have resorted to cheap propaganda to whip up public sentiments.
“This, they have done by circulating a doctored video on the social media alleging troops’ complicity in their mindless atrocities.
“This propaganda should be disregarded in its entirety,’’ Nwachukwu stated.