By Emmanuel Obisue

Combined troops of Operation UDO KA operating in Nigeria’s Northeast along with the Nigeria Police, Department of State Security Service and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps last week conducted raid operations on IPOB/ESN extremists in Imo State, killed 20, recovered weapons and destroyed their camps.

During the raid conducted around Mother Valley in Orlu Local Government Area of the state, the team cleared 50 IPOB/ESN hideout tents, including “terrorists Supreme Headquarters and their Command and Control Centre as well as its Military Council Headquarters”.

A statement issued on Sunday by Major General Edward Buba, Director of Defence Media Operations, said, “Troops also cleared Buteuzor’s hideout/residence office, logistic base, temple and shrine. The hideouts were well concealed with foliage that affords the criminals cover from air surveillance in order to prevent monitoring and detection”.

The statement added that, “the Valley had sufficient power supply for the camps. The terrorists hibernating there, reared animals and also owned farms in order to be self-sustaining to live and fight.”

“During the operations, troops also encountered several command IEDs and ditches along the axis to the camp.

“All were detonated and ditches covered with excavators before reaching the camp. The location is identified to be the supreme headquarters, command and control centre as well as the Military Council Headquarters of IPOB/ESN.

“During the operations, troops made contact with terrorists. Following a fire fight, troops neutralized 20 terrorists and recovered several quantities of assorted weapons such as G3 rifles, AK47 rifles, auto pump action guns, double barrel guns, locally made pistols and RPG bombs”, the statement read.

Assorted weapons recovered include “226 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 216 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 172 live cartridges, 4 AK47 magazines and 3 G3 magazines. Other items recovered include: several quantities of IEDs (OGBUNIGWE), POS devices, baofeng radios, mobile phones, handheld IEDs, CCTV cameras, inverter and batteries. Additional items include Biafra flags amongst others”.

“Troops destroyed all camps, hideouts and shrines in the location. The location was also littered with shallow graves indicative of Idol worshipping and ritual killings. The ritual killings at the camp accounts for the several cases of missing persons in the region,” Buba added.