Soldiers of 82 Division of the Nigerian Army have arrested 20 suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra and handed them over to the Nigerian Police.
The alleged IPOB consisted of 16 men and 4 women.
The Deputy Director of the Army Public Relations, Col Aliyu Yusuf, disclosed this on Monday while giving an update on the alleged 16 male members and 4 female members of IPOB apprehended.
He said, “On the activities of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra members, through its unreasonable demand for secession, IPOB has continued to interrupt the security situation in 34 Brigade Area of Responsibility.
“The activities of the threat elements have led to an increase in organised crimes such as armed robbery, kidnapping, and other sundry criminal violent acts.
“Recently, there have been various attacks on civilians, police and military personnel on checkpoints and escort duty.
“It is as a result of the activities of these criminal elements that appropriate superior authority directed the conduct of aggressive patrol within the general area to safeguard the lives and property of law-abiding citizens.
“On Thursday, 7 January, 2021, following incessant robbery and killing of civilians and security operatives by suspected IPOB militia within Orlu Senatorial Zone, troops of 34 Brigade were deployed in Orlu and its environs to commence effective patrol and dominance of the general area to forestall the activities of IPOB.
“On Thursday, 7 January, 2021 our troops in conjunction with the Nigeria Police conducted a Raid Operation of a suspected hideout of the Armed Group in Umutanze Community in Orlu Local Government Area.
“An SUV Lexus 330 with Registration Number Lagos KRD 320 EY was intercepted with 5 occupants, suspected to be members of IPOB. On sighting our troops, 4 of the occupants absconded, however, One Mr. Freedom Udochukwu Nwachukwu was arrested and handed over to the police for further interrogation.
“On Friday, 22 January, 2021, troops of 34 Brigade in conjunction with the Imo State Police Command carried out raids in Okporo/Ezenta and Akata axis of Orlu Local Government Area to recover the corpse of a police officer killed by members of IPOB.
“During the operation, one IPOB member was killed and one Jeep vehicle (SUV) was recovered. Various IPOB training camps were discovered and destroyed.
“On Monday, 25 January, 2021, our troops were ambushed at Banana Junction, Orlu Local Government Area by members of IPOB while escorting Army Headquarters Team led by Director Civil Affairs, Brigadier General HE Nzan who came to inspect Nigerian Army Civil-Military Cooperation Project at Nkwerre.
“IPOB militia attacked our troops and during the encounter, four escort soldiers were killed and four AK47s got missing. One Hilux vehicle was recovered.
“In a similar development, on Wednesday, 17 February, 2021, based on accurate intelligence reports, raid operation was conducted in the forest close to Lilu village in Ihiala General Area of Anambra State by combined troops of the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force, and the Nigeria Police.
“The operation commenced with airstrike at about 171750A February 21 from Mi-35 combat helicopter on confirmation of the IPOB camp/hideout, while ground troops engaged the escaping IPOB criminals.
“Thereafter troops exploited further into the IPOB Camp. The militia (men) were suspected to have escaped with their dead and shot members with varying degrees of injury, taking advantage of the poor visibility during the preceding operation.
“However, two IPOB militia were seen dead, and troop completely burnt down their camp. Items and equipment recovered from IPOB training camp include 1 AK47, 1 locally made pistol, 1 Dane gun, 5 local cartridge ammo, 2 IPOB flags, 1 ESN flag, 1 IPOB sign post, 1 gen BTY, 1 vehicle battery, 1 water pumping machine, 4 GD Black Belt, 1 military fragmental jacket, 1 mobile handset, I ladies motorcycle (scooter), 4 twine rope, 1 chain saw. Items recovered were handed over to the police headquarters, Owerri for further necessary action.”