Five gunmen have been killed during a shootout with suspected members outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Akwa Community in Ihiala Local Government of Anambra State.
The incident happened on Friday.
The gunmen and the IPOB members were said to have engaged in a battle over control of the area.
The IPOB members reportedly killed five of the gunmen whom they accused of terrorising residents of the council area.
A video circulating on social media, showed the IPOB members in a long convoy heading to an unknown destination with some bodies – said to be the five slain gunmen — in one of their trucks.
They were seen in the clip shooting in the air amidst cheers from some residents who were standing by.
When contacted, the police spokesperson in the state, Tochukwu Ikenga, confirmed the incident.
He said only four of the gunmen were killed during the shootout with suspected IPOB members.
He said one of the victims was a gang leader who had been on the police wanted list for his involvement in attacks on police and military facilities in the state.
“The violent clash ensued between the two criminal gangs and further details confirmed the killing of one Innocent Obieke aka Double Lion and three others,” Ikenga said.
“Double Lion has been on the police wanted list and has featured in attacks on police formations, military locations and other government infrastructure,” he added.
Mr Ikenga said following the viral video clip of the group, the police in the state have deployed operatives in Ihiala area and its environs and also intensified patrol to avert any break down of law and order by any of the terror groups.
“The situation is being monitored,” he assured.
Like other states in the Southeast, security in Anambra State has worsened lately with frequent attacks by armed persons.
The attacks, which often target security agencies, government officials and facilities, have been blamed on IPOB. But the group has repeatedly denied their involvement in the attacks.
The separatist group is leading agitation for an independent state of Biafra to be carved out from the Southeast and some parts of the Southsouth Nigeria.
Leader of the secessionist group, Nnamdi Kanu, is currently being detained in Abuja where he is facing trial for treason.