*Says over 100 civilians also killed

The Nigerian Army yesterday disclosed that the Eastern Security Network (ESN) set up by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has killed 128 military and police personnel, as well as 15 civil defence officers, and 31 community policing members in the South-east.

The army also disclosed that the group has also killed over 100 civilians who refused to support its activities.

The Brigade Commander of 34 Artillery Brigade, Obinze, Owerri, Imo State, Brig. Gen. Raymond Utsaha, made these revelations in Owerri, Imo State capital, at joint press conference he organised with the state Commissioner of Police, Abutu Yaro.

According to him, the hoodlums masquerading as ‘Unknown Gunmen’ have killed no fewer than 150 security operatives and civilians in the South-east zone.

At a joint media interactive session organised by him and the state Commissioner of Police, Abutu Yaro, in Owerri, the army chief said no “responsible government” would allow such “criminal elements” to continue to have their way.

Utsaha disclosed that the gunmen had killed 78 police officers, 38 army officers, five Naval officers, seven Air Force officers, 15 Nigeria Security and Civil Defence officers, 31 community policing members and over 100 innocent citizens in the five states of the South-East region since the unrest.

He promised that the government was committed to ending the activities of the hoodlums in the region.

“Within these few months, they have killed 78 police officers, 38 army officers, five naval officers, seven air force officers, 15 civil defence officers, 31 community policing members.

“Over 100 innocent citizens and civilians who decided not support the IPOB/ESN or refused to pay them money were also killed and properties worth billions of naira destroyed.

“With this staggering number of casualties, no serious government will stand by and watch the life of security personnel and its citizens to be destroyed. Survey reports show that 80 per cent of the security personnel killed are from the eastern part of the country.”

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