The Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Nnamdi Omoni, has confirmed the attacks on police checkpoints on Saturday. He said: “I can confirm the attack on security personnel along the Omagwa/Isiokpo/Elele Owerri Road. Details are sketchy. “The Commissioner of Police has launched a full scale Investigation into the dastardly attack with a view to arresting the perpetrators and bringing them to justice. “
News about the siege of various checkpoints along the busy Port Harcourt – Owerri highway, by over 70 gunmen that led to the killing of about eight security operatives had broken last night. Contrary to an earlier report by Africa Update, that two soldiers were killed, It was gathered that the gunmen, who started their operations around 8pm on Saturday, attacked four checkpoints from Elele to Omagwa in Ikwerre Local Government Area, Rivers State, killing three military personnel.
Out of the eight operatives killed, three were said to be military personnel, three Customs officials and two policemen. Some were reportedly beheaded while others were burnt beyond recognition. Sources said the gunmen gained entrance into Omagwa and Elele through the border towns in Imo State.
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They were said to have marched through the bush paths and swooped on innocent security men on duty. A police situation report dated April 25, identified the gunmen as members of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB).
One of the attacked checkpoints located along Airport Road Omagwa, belonged to the Joint Task Force (JTF) and was manned by nine policemen and two soldiers. It was gathered two burnt corpses of security operatives were later recovered at the JTF checkpoint, which was scattered and burnt by the gunmen. The gunmen, according to the report, later invaded a checkpoint of the Nigeria Customs Service at Isiokpo killing three customs officials.
It was gathered the hoodlums carted away the rifles of the security operatives and their patrol vans with sirens. They were said to have advanced to attack the Police Area Command at Isiokpo but were repelled by gallant policemen on duty. A combined team of security operatives were said to have launched a manhunt for the fleeing gunmen.