Six civilians, five soldiers killed during clash between ESN and soldiers in Orlu

Six civilians, five soldiers killed during clash between ESN, soldiers in Orlu

At least six civilians and a soldier were on Monday killed during a shootout between operatives of the Eastern Security Network and Nigerian soldiers.

The civilian killed include a female food vendor and another bystander who were both hit by stray bullets. A northerner was also killed at the Hausa quarters behind the Orlu stadium while the remaining three were shot by the military, local sources said.

A military source who spoke on the condition of anonymity told Standard Observers that four soldiers were killed by the ESN operatives on Sunday Night at the Hausa Quarters, prompting the army to intervene.

The source said that another soldier was gunned down on Monday while several others sustained bullet wounds. He, however, did not say the number of ESN operatives killed by the army during the fracas.

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Orlando Ikeogwu, the spokesman of the Imo State police command confirmed the killing of the four soldiers. He said the army is yet to issue a report on the incident as mandated by their official security protocol.

The leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, hailed the clash, posting on his Facebook page “Well done boys! Now they know Orlu can never be another Obigbo. Those that doubted our resolve now know better”

Meanwhile, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has accused Southeast governors and elected members of the State and National Assemblies from the region of what it termed the “clear lack of good governance and political leadership.”

HURIWA claimed that governors and lawmakers from the region were responsible for the alleged “bloody encounter” between the Eastern Security Network, ESN, and military operatives in Orlu, Imo State.

HURIWA called for caution by all parties involved in ensuring the security of the Southeast and vowed to write the Chief of Army Staff, on ensuring military operatives carry out internal military operations lawfully.

A statement by HURIWA’s spokesman, Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the incident according to a source started around 6 am on Friday.

According to HURIWA: “The burning of the church was carried out by those masked security agents and the church that was burnt was the Holy Trinity Sabbath Mission in Orlu Local Government Area.

“About five buildings were burnt and only one person was killed and the person was killed at the market square.

“The lack of good leadership by the governors of the South East of Nigeria and their apparent lethargy in finding homegrown security mechanisms in partnership with the statutory security institutions recognised by the Nigerian Constitution to secure the lives and properties of Nigerians resident in the South East of Nigeria made it possible for some youths under the aegis of the proscribed Indigenous peoples of Biafra (IPOB) to try to put measures on the ground for protection of the assets and lives of the people of South East of Nigeria that has come under intense attacks and invasions by armed Fulani herdsmen and other armed non-state actors.”