Gunmen for the third day running attacked a police station in Onitsha, Anambra State, killing the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and three other operatives.
Also, three of the gunmen suspected to be members of IPOB/ESN were also neutralised, while two suspected members of the gang were also arrested.
In a statement, the police public relations officer Tochukwu Ikenga, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) wrote: “Today 20/02/2023 at about 02:20 am, gunmen suspected to be IPOB/ESN attacked Awada Police Station in Idemilli North Local Government Area of Anambra State using Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and automatic firearms.
“In response to the attack, police operatives attached to Anambra State Command engaged the assailants jointly with troops from 302 Artillery Regiment of the Nigeria Army, in a gun duel and three members of the outlawed IPOB/ESN were fatally wounded while three Kalashnikov rifles and one Automatic Pump Action gun were recovered from them.
” Other items recovered from the assailants include a brown Lexus 330 with reg no. GWA 415BB ABJ, one unregistered KYMCO motorcycle suspected to be stolen properties, charms and other incriminating items.
“During a mop-up operation by police/military operatives, two male suspects reasonably believed to have participated in the attack were apprehended.
“Regrettably, four police operatives paid the supreme price while a section of the station, one police patrol vehicle and three exhibit vehicles parked in the premises were set ablaze by petrol bombs thrown into the station by the assailants”.
An eye witness who lives near the crime scene wrote: “It was terrible last night for people living close to Awada police station, it’s as if war has come close to us. Gun shot nobi here, different sound nawaa ooo
“This morning, I inquire that the unknown gunmen invaded the station, set some part of the station on fire, kill three policeman which includes DPO Isiowulu police station, newly recruited constable and one inspector.
“With the help of the military men that surfaced, Police were able to demobilised three of the gunmen, caught two red- handed.
Meanwhile, police is still on the trail of the remaining gunmen.