Gunmen Kill Three Policemen At Checkpoint In Enugu

  Gunmen have attacked a police checkpoint in Enugu State, killing three officers, police and residents said on Sunday — the latest violence in a … Continue reading Gunmen Kill Three Policemen At Checkpoint In Enugu


A graphical illustration of gunmen.
A graphical illustration of gunmen.

 

Gunmen have attacked a police checkpoint in Enugu State, killing three officers, police and residents said on Sunday — the latest violence in a region where separatist tensions often flare.

“We lost officers in the attack by the criminals, who also took away some weapons,” a senior police officer, who did not want to be named, told AFP.

The gunmen stormed the police checkpoint at Agbani in Enugu State and opened fire on the officers, state police spokesman Daniel Ndukwe said.


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Ndukwe said the dead were “three police operatives performing stop-and-search duty”.

He blamed the attack on “armed hoodlums suspected to be IPOB/ESN renegades, numbering about 15, who operated in a Lexus Jeep and Toyota Tundra vehicles”.

He said police were on the trail of the attackers.

Local resident Francis Nwachukwu said the policemen were taken by surprise.

“The incident happened around 8:00 am. The policemen were busy extorting motorists at the checkpoint when they were attacked,” Nwachukwu told AFP.

“At the end of the shooting, the lifeless bodies of three policemen were lying on the ground,” he added.

No group has claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attack, which occurred a day after a former local government commissioner and his brother were shot dead in Enugu State.

Southeast Nigeria has seen scores of attacks blamed on the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) group or its armed wing, the Eastern Security Network (ESN).

IPOB, which seeks a separate state for ethnic Igbo people, has repeatedly denied responsibility for the violence.

More than 100 police and other security personnel have been killed since the beginning of last year in targeted attacks, according to local media tallies.

Prisons have been raided, with scores of inmates freed and weapons stolen.

Local offices of the national electoral authorities have also been targeted.

IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu is in government custody and faces trial for treason after being detained overseas and brought back to Nigeria.

Separatism is a sensitive issue in a nation where the declaration of an independent Republic of Biafra in 1967 by Igbo army officers sparked a three-year civil war that left more than one million dead.