… As Troops eliminate 4 IPOB/ESN gunmen, recover arms, vehicles***
Bandits killed three security personnel in a gun duel in Zamfara on Wednesday, police said in Gusau on Saturday.
Police command’s spokesman in Zamfara, SP Muhammad Shehu, said in a statement that the gun battle held between the bandits and operatives of a joint Police/Civil Defence patrol team on Kaura Namoda/Shinkafi Road.
Shehu said the police lost one officer while the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) lost two personnel to the battle.
“The attention of the Police Command in Zamfara has been drawn to misleading reports published by an online medium.
“The report stated that no fewer than 20 operatives of Nigerian security agencies were butchered in Shinkafi Local Government Area of Zamfara.
“It said the bodies were set ablaze by bandits operating in the state.
“The Command wishes to state that the report was inaccurate and was an attempt to create fear and panic in the minds of citizens.
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“What happened was that on Oct. 28, joint Police/Civil Defence operatives deployed along Kaura Namoda–Shinkafi Road to stem the tide of banditry, kidnapping and other crimes were ambushed by suspected bandits who came in a large number.
“The operatives who were always at alert engaged the hoodlums in a gun duel that lasted for hours.
“Some of the assailants were neutralised while others escaped with possible gunshot wounds.
“Unfortunately, a police operative and two Civil Defence personnel paid the supreme price and their corpses were evacuated and buried accordingly.
“In view of the above, the Command urges members of the public to ignore the outrageous number reported by the online medium and continue to be security conscious while going about their legitimate businesses,” Shehu stated.
The NSCDC said in a separate statement, however, that: “joint security operatives at Hawan Bakwai Walele had an intensive attack by bandits at noon on Oct. 28.
“The bandits, numbering about 150, had heavy weaponry and engaged operatives in exchange of fire.’’
NSCDC spokesman, Mr Ikhor Oche, noted in the statement that the team of the joint security forces was overpowered even after it got reinforcement.
“All the same, one of the NSCDC personnel, a driver, was killed while other officers had to run for cover.
“The bandits set the vehicle ablaze along with the corpse of the personnel, and while returning to Shinkafi one personnel also got missing.
“During NSCDC’s search, the missing person was found dead and right now his corpse is on its way to Maru, his hometown.
“This brings to two, the number of NSCDC personnel that died in the attack.
“I cannot ascertain the extent of what happened to men of the other security agency, but it equally recorded losses,” Oche stated.
In another development, troops of 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, conducting “Exercise Golden Dawn” in the South East, have neutralised four gunmen of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra/Eastern Security Network (IPOB/ESN) at Nnobi in Anambra.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.
Nwachukwu said the gunmen were overpowered in a fierce encounter with troops at Nnobi Junction, Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra, on Friday.
He said the assailants had earlier attacked personnel of security agencies deployed at Ekwulobia Round About in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State.
He added that troops swiftly mobilised to the scene and subsequently embarked on the pursuit of the criminals along Nnewi – Nnobi road.
According to him, troops made contact with the fleeing gunmen and engaged them in a firefight, neutralising four of the criminals.
“The gallant troops also recovered two AK-47 Rifles, one GALIL Ace 5.56 x 45 Iwi Gun, one Avofeng Handheld radio and one Black Highlander jeep.
“Sadly, a personnel of one of the security agencies paid the supreme price,” he said.
Nwachukwu also disclosed that the troops had in another operation, foiled another attack by IPOB/ESN gunmen at Umunze Checkpoint, in Orumba South Local Government Area of the state.
He said the vigilant troops overwhelmed the attackers in the shootout that ensued, forcing them to take to their heels, abandoning, one Pump Action gun with nine cartridges, a Ford vehicle and four motorcycles.
According to him, the Nigerian army notes that the recent attacks are part of a proscribed IPOB/ESN plan to instil fear in the public and sabotage the forthcoming Anambra State Governorship Election.
“Members of the public are reassured that the Nigerian Army, sister services and other security agencies will not relent in resolutely confronting all criminals intents against the citizenry and national interest.
“Law-abiding citizens are enjoined to continue to go about their daily activities without any fear.
“They are also encouraged to report any unusual activity observed across Anambra State to the nearest security post,” he said.