Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Two armed men were killed when soldiers raided their camp at Okigwe in Imo State.
The incident occurred on Monday, according to a statement by the Spokesperson for the Joint Task Force, Operation UDO KA II, Jonah Uniakhalu, and shared on the verified X (formerly Twitter) page of the force.
According to the statement, the troops, during the operation, engaged in exchange of fire with the hoodlums who escaped with gunshot wounds into neighbouring forests.
The statement claimed that the gunmen were members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, but the pro-Biafra group has severally dissociated with such armed groups.
Meanwhile the Army statement read in part: “Troops of Joint Task Force South-East Operation UDO KA II on Sunday, 1 October 2023 cleared 4 notorious camps of the Indigenous People of Biafra and its armed affiliates the Eastern Security Network in Ihube, Aku and Umulolo in Okigwe Local Government Area of Imo State.
“During the clearance operation, troops encountered many Improvised Explosive Devices en route to the camps. However, due to superior firepower, the irredentists fled into neighbouring forests with gunshot wounds. It was discovered that the camps were being used to perpetuate atrocities such as cannibalism, occultic practices and ritual killings to instil fear into the law-abiding citizens. These were evident from many fresh and old corpses discovered while clearing the entire camps.”
According to the statement, the operation also led to the destruction of the shrine of a suspected terrorist, Amobi Okafor also known as Temple, who was on the wanted list of the force, where alleged human sacrifices are being made.
“Also the houses of the two spiritual leaders/herbalists (Dibias) that took to their heels were destroyed. Furthermore, the shrine of the wanted terrorist Amobi Chinoso Okafor a.k.a Temple, where human sacrifices are being made was destroyed. The Joint Task Force neutralised 2 IPOB/ESN members and four of the criminals were arrested. Items recovered from the camps includes different denomination of the Biafra currencies, one new power bike, four motorcycles, and solar panels. Others are POP cement and petroleum tanker suspected to have been hijacked from hard-working Igbo owners trying to make a living,” Unuakhalu said.
Furthermore, the Army has vowed not to relent in driving the Eastern region of the country of terrorists, crime and criminality.
“Operation UDO KA II will continue combating crime and criminality by the extant rules and regulations guiding its operations. All law-abiding and good citizens of the South-East region are enjoined to act against these devilish terrorists by providing timely, credible and reliable information which will lead to ending the menace of insecurity occasioned by activities of the terrorist group in the region. Do not be a victim of this sacrilegious criminal desecrating Igboland.”