The 82 Division of the Nigerian Army said its troops on Wednesday, conducted Operations to clear criminal havens, from where members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed wing, Eastern Security Network (ESN) operate at Azia, Orsumoghu, Lilu Forest, Mbosi and Uli in Ihiala and Orsu Local Government Areas of Anambra and Imo States respectively.
There have been reports of incidents of gun duel between the military and members of the separatist group along the axis for some days now.
There have also been accounts of killings and kidnappings in the area.
In a statement on Thursday, the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu said during the clearance operations, troops overpowered and routed the dissidents, who staged an ambush against the gallant troops.
“The troops then proceeded to clear Lilu Forest, where they were met with resistance from the outlawed group.
“The criminals were again overran by the troops who effectively cleared Lilu Forest and the adjoining areas earlier occupied by the dissidents.
“During the clearance operations, the troops uncovered decomposing remains of kidnapped and murdered victims dumped in a deep well by members of the irredentist groups,” Nwachukwu disclosed.
He further noted that while conducting the operations, the unrelenting troops encountered and cleared four ambush sites along roads Orsumoghu-Mbosi – Ihiala-Uli, dislodging the irredentists from their criminal havens.
“The gallant troops neutralized one of the criminals, arrested three suspects and recovered one Pump Action Shotgun, two live Cartridges, two mobile phones, One black coloured Toyota Hilux vehicle, a polythene bag containing substances suspected to be Cannabis and the sum of #1, 920,” he said.
The Army spokesperson also said in a separate operation conducted on Friday, troops of 82 Division Nigerian Army in collaboration with the Nigerian Police have busted an IPOB/ESN syndicate that disrupted the just concluded Local Government Council elections at some polling stations in Nkanu West of Enugu State.
He said; “During the intelligence driven operation, carried out around Centenary Estate Obeagu Uno, troops uncovered 7 AK 47 rifles, 2 Pump Action rifles, 10 rifle Magazines, 8 live cartridges, 74 live rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition, one hand grenade, a tipper truck containing 3 corpses among other items.
“The items have been handed over to Enugu State Police Command for further action.”
Nwachukwu gave the assurances of the Nigerian Army to residents of South East Nigeria, that it is committed to restoring lasting peace in the region.