Operatives of the Nigeria Police Force and their counterparts from the Nigerian Army and Department of State Services, in a joint operation, on Saturday, stormed the operational headquarters of Eastern Security Network established by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) in Awomama Village, Oru East LGA of Imo State.
The operatives allegedly killed one Commander Ikonta and six other militia members. The Nigerian government had proscribed the organisation led by Nnamdi Kanu.
Though Kanu fled Nigeria after he was granted bail, he still commands cult followership in the nation’s east.
Security agencies have blamed the group for the attack on the police headquarters in Imo and the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) headquarters on April 5, 2021.
The group has also been accused of launching several isolated attacks on security personnel at different locations in the South-East and South-South.
According to PRNigeria, an intelligence officer said that the group’s fighters opened fire as security forces approached their hideout in Awomama village on Saturday.
“In a clinical response, the joint security forces fought back gallantly. The forces eventually neutralised the overall commander of the insurgents in the Southeast, popularly known as Ikonso Commander and six other armed fighters.
“Ikonso is the vice president-designate and the coordinator of all the militia operations of the group. He was the mastermind of the attack on the Imo Police Headquarters and several other attacks on security and military personnel and facilities.
“The operation is part of a deliberate effort by the police and other security forces to quell the activities of insurgents in Imo State and other states of the South East and South-South region of the country,” the source said.
After the battle, the remains of Ikonso and others killed were recovered. Six AK47 rifles, hundreds of ammunition of different calibre, bulletproof charms, among others, were found.
Three policemen and one army officer are receiving treatment for injuries sustained during the fight.