Troops of the Nigerian Army have recovered a locally fabricated rocket propeller known as “Ogbunigwe” during clearance operations in suspected hideouts of the Indigenous People of Biafra and its Eastern Security Network in two council areas of Imo State.
A statement on Friday by the acting Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 82 Division of Nigerian Army, for the Joint Task Force, Lt.-Col. Jonah Unuakhalu, said the operations were conducted by the troops of Joint Task Force South-East Operation, code-named ‘Operation UDO KA II’.
Unuakhalu said the clearance operations took place simultaneously on Thursday, October 5, 2023, along Ihioma-Ihittenansa communities in Orsu Local Government Area and Okigwe-Umulolo communities in Okigwe Local Government Area of Imo State respectively.
He explained that the operations were aimed at identifying and destroying possible camps of the fleeing IPOB/ESN agitators, whom he accused of killing and maiming as well as extorting innocent citizens of the South-East in the name of agitation.
According to him, during the operation at Umulolo, one of the troops’ vehicles was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device.
He added that no causality was recorded.
The statement partly read, “Troops also came in contact with the terrorists who fled into nearby bushes with gunshot wounds due to superior firepower.
Two suspects were arrested and items recovered at Umulolo included two locally-made guns, ammunition, one PKT machine gun barrel, one big locally-made rocket propelled launcher (Ogbunigwe), and IED-making materials.
“Others included three CCTV cameras, two laptops and a charger, eight mobile phones, three boots, camouflage shorts, two motorcycles and a beret. Furthermore, three shrines used by the terrorists for fortification were destroyed.”
The army spokesman said that in the clearance operations/fighting patrols along Ihioma -Ihittenansa in Orsu LGA, the troops also encountered IEDs, made close contact, and engaged in gun duels with some IPOB/ESN terrorists around Eketutu Market.
“The terrorists fled into the adjourning forests of Lilu and Mother Valleys with gunshot wounds on motorcycles. Troops also recovered 2 X CCTV cameras carefully concealed at the highest point in the area and some IED-making materials.
“Troops successfully cleared the terrorists from the Eketutu market,” he said.
The army spokesman noted that Operation UDO KA II would continue combating ritual killings, cannibalism, kidnapping for ransom, and extortion of hardworking and law-abiding citizens in the southeast.