The Nigeria military, yesterday, confirmed that two of its officers died in a shoot-out with unknown gunmen in Ihiala Town, Ihiala Council of Anambra State.
It also confirmed that four members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), the security arm of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) were killed in the gun duel.
Director of Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen Onyema Nwachukwu, who disclosed this in a statement, identified one of the victims simply as Ejike, who was alleged to be the leader of the group in the area.
He stated that the gunmen were caught napping while forcing the illegal sit-at-home order, pointing out that the gunmen fired sporadically into a petrol filling station in Ihiala where the four of their members met their waterloo.
On receiving the distress call, troops of the Nigeria Army mobilised to the location to restore normalcy and on intercepting the dissidents, a fierce gun fight ensued during which the troops neutralised one of their leaders, Ejike and three others.
Items recovered from the gunmen during the encounter include one motorcycle, two pump action double-barrel guns, 12 live cartridges and substances suspected to be cannabis, among others.
“Sadly, one combat vehicle conveying troops was involved in an accident during the operation due to a technical fault leading to the death of an officer and a soldier, while two sustained injuries and are currently responding to treatment at a military hospital.
“While we pray for the repose of the deceased’ souls, members of the public are enjoined to continue to support the military and other security agencies through the provision of information that could enhance operations and ultimately, restore peace and stability in the region,” the statement read.