The fearless troops were unhurt and rocket launcher was also discovered, as Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) deployed by the irredentists exploded at Eke Ututu Market, destroying some of the shops in the market.
The Nigerian Army says it has neutralised two alleged members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its militant wing Eastern Security Network (ESN) on Eke Ututu – Ihitte Nansa Road in the Orsu Local Government Area of Imo State.
Bellnewsonline had exclusively reported that trigger-happy soldiers of the Nigerian Army from Obinze 34 Artillery Brigade reportedly invaded Eke Ututu Market and killed two moulders in a block industry located in the area on Tuesday afternoon. They also shot an octogenarian who later died in a shop in front of his house.
But the Nigerian Army in a statement issued on Wednesday afternoon titled “Troops Neutralize IPOB/ESN Elements In Orsu, Recover Rocket Launchers,” which was signed by the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, said the persons killed were IPOB members.
The statement read in part, “Troops of Headquarters 82 Division Nigerian Army, made up of troops of 34 Artillery Brigade, in conjunction with troops of Nigerian Navy, Air Force and other security agencies on Tuesday 30 August 2022 neutralized two combatants of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its militant wing Eastern Security Network (ESN) along Eke Ututu – Ihitte Nansa road in Orsu Local Government Area of Imo State.
“The troops encountered the dissidents while carrying out a raid operation around the general area of Orsu Ihitte Ukwa and Ihitte Nansa. The neutralized members had taken position to launch one of their primed rocket launchers, when they were engaged and taken out by the vigilant troops.
“The fearless troops were unhurt, as Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) deployed by the irredentists exploded at Eke Ututu Market, destroying some of the shops in the market.
“Eke Ututu market has recently become a flash point as dissidents often ambush troops using explosives and firearms from within and around the market, while troops are on routine patrol.
“After the incident, the Explosive Ordnance Device (EOD) team recovered several Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) planted along the road, as well as locally fabricated rocket launchers.
“Troops will continue to ensure there is no safe haven for all criminal elements operating around Orsu and Orsumoghu general area.”