SECURITY operatives in Imo State have shot eight armed men dead during a firefight when the hoodlums tried to attack the Orlu Divisional Police Headquarters as the ongoing violence in the area continues unabated.
Over recent weeks, armed gunmen has attacked police stations across Imo State and ransacked correctional facilities, freeing prison inmates. Over 1,800 prisoners released from Owerri Prison and last month, Governor Hope Uzodinma’s house was also set ablaze, while the state commissioner for entrepreneurship and skills acquisition Iyke Ume, was shot by armed robbers in the capital Owerri.
In a bid to stem the violence, inspector-general of police Usman Baba, recently appointed Abutu Yaro as the new Imo State police commissioner with a strict mandate to combat the growing menace of insecurity there. yesterday, a joint police and army operation engaged the gunmen who tried to take over the police station, killing eight of them and recovering the seven vehicles they came in.
According to eyewitnesses, the gun battle lasted several hours, as the military sent reinforcement from the 34 Artillery Brigade, Obinze, in Owerri. During the violence, an armoured personnel carrier was set ablaze at Umuna junction in Orlu town.
One senior police officer said that the corpses of the hoodlums and their vehicles had been brought to the state police command headquarters in Owerri. He e disclosed that the police divisional headquarters was not razed neither did any security officer killed in the attack.
“We successfully repelled an attempt to raze Orlu Divisional Police Headquarters last night. The hoodlums came in multiple vehicles and sophisticated weapons and assault rifles but they were repelled and eight of them were gun down, with the seven vehicles belonging to them recovered.
“Their corpses and seven vehicles belonging to them had been conveyed to Imo state police command headquarters in Owerri. You need to see their charms and other things hanging on their necks.
“It was a big war and the gun battle lasted for hours but our men made up of the police, military and air force overpowered them. They were denied access into the police station premises, eight of them were killed and seven vehicles recovered, while others fled.”