Gunmen kill five police officers, two civilians in Imo, southeast Nigeria

Gunmen kill five police officers, two civilians in Imo, southeast Nigeria

Gunmen in Imo state, southeastern Nigeria, have killed five police officers and two civilians in yet another brutal campaign.

This is the latest incident in a region that has been plagued by gang and separatist violence.

Eyewitness accounts say the Nigerian police officers were eating at a local restaurant when the armed men opened fire on the security personnel, killing three of them on the spot.

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Two of the officers, who initially escaped with gunshot wounds and ran to a nearby shop for safety, were later tracked down and killed by the gunmen.

The gunmen also left with the guns of the police officer after the deadly attack.

Apart from the murdered police officers, a couple who own the food outlet where the attack took place was also killed by the attackers. The couple has been identified as Mr and Mrs Chinaka Nwagu.

It was revealed that the couple relocated from Lagos State, south-west Nigeria, about one year ago.

Meanwhile the Imo State police spokesperson Henry Okoye has confirmed the attack and the killing of the officers and civilians but did not give details.

Armed groups have attacked police stations, government and electoral offices in southeast states, which the government frequently blames on the banned separatist Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). IPOB denies the allegations.

In 1967, the region attempted to secede under the name Republic of Biafra, resulting in a three-year civil war in which over a million people died, mostly from starvation.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country with over 200 million people, is battling widespread insecurity, with gun attacks and kidnappings in the northwest, a raging insurgency in the northeast, and separatist and gang violence in the southeast.

The incoming administration of Bola-Ahmed Tinubu, who was elected as Nigeria’s president in the February 25 poll, has vowed to tackle the challenge from where the Muhammadu Buhari-led government left it.

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