The Nigerian army has said that seven members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), the militant arm of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), have been killed in Rivers.
The army said the IPOB members were killed on Thursday during a clash with security operatives in Eleme and Oyigbo LGAs of the state.
In a statement on Sunday, Mohammed Yerima, army spokesperson, also said five other members of the outlawed group were arrested.
Yerima said a joint team of security operatives were raiding suspected enclaves of the group when the clash occurred.
His statement read: “Troops of 6 Division Garrison, Port Harcourt and 29 Battalion in conjunction with operatives of Nigerian Police, DSS, and NSCDC on Thursday, 27 May 2021, conducted a Clearance/Raid Operation at suspected IPOB/ESN enclaves at Agbomchia Forest along Pipeline Road Ogali/Komkom Boundary between Eleme and Oyigbo LGA’s of Rivers State.
“In the fire fight that ensued during the Clearance/Raid Operation, 7 IPOB/ESN members were neutralized while 5 suspects arrested.
“Various items belonging to the criminals including arms and ammunition were also recovered by the security forces. The camp was promptly destroyed while suspects and corpses were handed over to the Police for further actions.
There was no casualty on own troops and other security operatives as they have returned back to base in high morale.
“The Nigerian Army urges members of the public to always avail the troops with accurate and timely information that will help in tracking down and neutralise the so-called Unknown Gunmen (UGM) who are terrorizing the region.”
IPOB has often been accused of carrying out attacks on security operatives in the south-east.