David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
The Nigerian soldiers have allegedly dislodged suspected operatives of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), the security arm of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
THISDAY gathered that the operation was carried out in collaboration with other security agencies, and was able to dislodge a notorious stronghold of the group in a forest in Lilu community in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Lilu is a border town between Imo and Anambra States, which is said to be used as an operational base of the outlawed group.
A statement issued by the Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, stated that the operations, which were conducted in the early hours of January 17, led to the neutralisation of some gunmen in a fire fight that ensued.
He said: “After dislodging the dissidents from their fortress, the dogged troops recovered 10 pump action shotguns, two locally fabricated guns, one revolver, rounds of 7.62 mm special, live cartridges, machetes and IPOB flags. Other items recovered were mobile phones, laptops among other dangerous weapons.
“The operation was jointly conducted by troops of 82 Division, Nigerian Navy, 211 Quick Response Group of the Nigerian Air Force, Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigeria Police. It was a well-coordinated dawn attack on the fortress, where plans were being perfected to violently enforce the illegitimate sit-at-home declaration by the group.”