Suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have fled upon sighting troops of the 34 Brigade during a clearance operation in Imo State.
The troops who were on an operation to clear the separatists in hideouts were however met with resistance as the gunmen engaged them in a gun duel.
In a statement on Thursday, the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, said the incident happened along Amaifeke-Akkatta Road in the Orlu Local Government Area of the state.
Although he did not state the exact time, he said a cache of arms and ammunition belonging to elements of the dissident group were captured.
The army spokesman maintained that the outlawed IPOB members were forced to flee the scene after being overpowered by the troops.
“Troops uncovered the weapons concealed in a black Toyota Camry, after they successfully surmounted ambushes staged by members of the outlawed dissident group, who, having been overpowered by the gallant troops, abandoned their vehicle and weapons in the heat of the combat and fled the scene,” the statement read in part.
Items recovered from them included 10 pump-action shotguns, seven locally fabricated guns, one locally-made revolver pistol, 80 live cartridges, one Baofeng radio, and a substance suspected to be gun powder.
Others include a sachet of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and a Toyota Camry Saloon car.
Nwachukwu also commended members of the public for their continued support to the military and security agencies as they “protect the citizens from atrocious activities of the outlawed dissident groups, who in defiance of law and good order have annihilated innocent Ndigbo and other Nigerians, in their enforcement of an illegal sit at home order, foisted on the good people of the South-East”.
This is even as he asked for timely and credible information to be provided to support the military’s ongoing operations to restore peace and security in the region and other troubled parts of the country.