Nigerian Army kills 11 gunmen in Abia
Charles Nwoke, Umuahia, Nigeria
March 24, 2021
Men of the Nigerian Army, 144 Battalion, positioned at Ariaria junction, along the Enugu – Port Harcourt Highway, on Wednesday, killing 11 unidentified gunmen who engaged them in a fierce exchange of gunfire.
This is happening within 48 hours after three police officers were attacked and murdered by criminals in Abiriba, Ohafia Local Government Area Council of the state.
According to residents, the unknown gunmen, numbering about 50, engaged the soldiers at the military checkpoint at the Ariaria junction.
They went further to state that before the gunmen arrived at the scene of the event; the soldiers had gathered intelligence about their plans and prepared ahead waiting for them.
Just immediately the gunmen arrived at the checkpoint, they opened fire against the soldiers, but the soldiers responded quickly.
During the gun battle which was said to have lasted for over 30 minutes, 11 persons were shot dead in the duel as they bowed to the superior firepower of the Nigerian military.
According to reports, other members of the gang escaped with bullet wounds.
There are conflicting reports about the number of casualties recorded during the inferno; while some sources said 16 persons were killed in the battle, including a soldier, a top military source in Aba disclosed that only 11 gunmen were killed while there was no casualty recorded on the side of the Nigerian Army.
He said, “No soldier was killed, but we killed 11 of the gunmen. I assure the public that there was no casualty among the soldiers.”
Meanwhile, the Abia State Government has eulogized the soldiers for their gallantry display, stressing that the government is committed to the protection of lives and properties of every law-abiding resident of the state. John Okiyi Kalu, the Abia State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, stated this when reacting to the new development.
He, therefore, warned youths of the state to eschew involving themselves in any organization or group that would push them into attacking security agents under any guise, as such movement is very harmful and risky.
“It is a good development; we welcome every necessary measure to protect the good people of Abia State. We call on our young men and women not to put themselves in harm’s way by attacking security agents under any guise. We also urge them not to allow themselves to be used by politicians for any reason to cause insecurity. Abia State government will do everything possible to protect law-abiding citizens without fear,” said the Commissioner.