Joint Operation in Imo State: Security Forces Crush IPOB Strongholds, Recover Weapons

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Personnel of the Armed Forces, Department of State Services, Nigeria Police Force, and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps have killed 20 Indigenous People of Biafra’s fighters in the Orsu Local Government Area of Imo State.

Also in the joint operation which was conducted on March 7, the security operatives destroyed 50 of their camps.

Among the camps destroyed included the IPOB’s Supreme Headquarters, Command and Control Centre, and Military Council Headquarters.

The operation is the second conducted in the same Local Government since the beginning of the month and the third in the state.

On March 5, Personnel of the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Navy killed five fighters IPOB fighters during a gun battle that occurred at Ejemekuru in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State.

Also, on March 2, troops killed an IPOB fighter after a fierce gun duel and recovered three Improvised Explosive Devices, one Toyota Highlander SUV, one Hilux vehicle, and eight rounds of 7.62mm (Special) ammunition, among others from their hideouts.

However, in a statement on Sunday, the Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. Edward Buba said the troops came in contact with many Improvised Devices planted by the fighters and ditches along the axis to the camps.

Buba added that the fighters’ hideouts were well concealed with foliage that prevented them from being sighted during air surveillance.

The statement read, “On March 7, 2024, the combined troops of Operation Udo Ka with Nigeria Police, Department of State Security Service, and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps conducted a raid/clearance operations to the IPOB/ESN violent extremists/terrorists in Mother Valley, Orsu LGA of Imo State.

“The team cleared about 50 IPOB/ESN hideout tents in the valley including terrorists’ Supreme Headquarters and their Command and Control Centre as well as its Military Council Headquarters.

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“Troops also, cleared Buteuzor’s hideout/residence office, logistic base, temple, and shrine. The hideouts were well concealed with foliage that afforded the criminals cover from air surveillance to prevent monitoring and detection.

“The Valley had sufficient power supply for the camps. The terrorists hibernated there, reared animals, and also owned farms to be self-sustaining to live and fight. During the operations, troops also encountered several command IEDs and ditches along the axis of the camp.”

Buba stated that the ditches dug by the fighters were covered and the IEDs detonated.

He noted that in the fight that ensued after making contact with the fighters, 20 of them were killed and several weapons were recovered from them.

Buba said, “All were detonated and ditches were covered with excavators before reaching the camp. The location is identified to be the supreme headquarters, command, and control centre as well as the Military Council Headquarters of IPOB/ESN.

“During the operations, troops made contact with terrorists. Following a firefight, troops neutralised 20 terrorists and recovered several quantities of assorted weapons such as G3 rifles, AK47 rifles, auto pump action guns, double barrel guns, locally made pistols, and RPG bombs.

“Troops also recovered assorted ammunition which included 226 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 216 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 172 live cartridges, 4 AK47 magazines, and 3 G3 magazines. Other items recovered include several quantities of IEDs (OGBUNIGWE), POS devices, baofeng radios, mobile phones, handheld IEDs, CCTV cameras, inverters, and batteries. Additional items include Biafra flags amongst others.”

Buba also said shallow graves were spread across the IPOB fighters’ camps, accusing them of being involved in ritual killings.

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