Gun Battle: Police, Army and Gunmen Clash in Abia State

Soldiers of the 144 Battalion, stationed at Ariaria junction, along the Enugu–Port Harcourt expressway, yesterday, allegedly killed 16 gunmen who engaged them in a fierce gun battle.

A source said hundreds of security operatives on Tuesday night launched a heavy attack on the camp of the ESN* in Aba, Abia State, killing no fewer than 16 of them and injuring others.

However, the Nigerian Army, and the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB*, have dismissed as fake, the report  that the military attacked the ESN camp in Aba, killing no fewer than 16 personnel of the security outfit.

The gunmen, said to be numbering about 50, engaged the soldiers at their checkpoint  at the Ariaria junction.

Military sources said that before the gunmen arrived the area; the soldiers had gathered intelligence and laid in wait for them.

As soon as the gunmen arrived, they opened fire but the soldiers responded.

In the ensuing gun duel which was said to have lasted for over 30 minutes, 16 persons were shot dead in the duel. Other members of the gang reportedly sustained bullet wounds.

However, there are conflicting reports about the number of casualties. While some sources said 16 persons were killed, among them, a soldier, a top military source in Aba said only 11 gunmen were killed while there was no casualty on the side of the army.

“No soldier was killed, but we killed 11 of the gunmen. I assure the public that there was no casualty among the soldiers.” he said.

Reacting to the incident, Abia State government commended the soldiers for their gallantry, stressing that it is committed to the protection of lives and properties of Abia residents.

*ESN – Eastern Security Network

*IPOB – Indigenous People of Biafra

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