Seven members of ESN, a militia group linked to the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) have been killed during a joint operation by the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigerian Army and Department of State Services in the early hours of Saturday.
Two other members were also arrested in the joint operation.
Among those killed is one suspected Commander Ikonso, identified as the Vice President-designate of IPOB.
The late IPOB leader was also said to be the coordinator of all the operations of the group in the South-East, including the attack on the Imo Police Headquarters on April 5 and several other attacks on security and military personnel and facilities.
Security operatives stormed the IPOB’s operational headquarters in Awomamma village, Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State, where they engaged the gunmen in exchange for fire.
Commander Ikonso, alongside six others of his colleagues, eventually fell to the superior firepower of the security operatives.
Commander Ikonso is said to have carried out series of violent attacks on security personnel and formations in the South-East and South-South of the country.
The operation is part of deliberate efforts by the Police and other security forces to quell the activities of insurgents in Imo State and other states of the South East and South South region of the country.
Sophisticated weapons including six AK-47 rifles, hundreds of ammunition of different calibre, and charms meant to ward off bullets were recovered from the gunmen.
However, three Policemen and one Army officer are said to be receiving treatment having sustained serious bullet injuries during the exchange of gunfire.
Imo State has been experiencing series of attacks of recent with sources blaming the attacks on ESN and IPOB.