Unidentified gunmen have taken the lives of numerous security operatives in Umualumaku, a community situated in the Ehime Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State, located in Nigeria’s South-east region.
The incident happened at about 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Newsmen gathered.
Sources told this newspaper that the gunmen ambushed the security operatives, who were driving in two pick-up trucks to an unknown location, and opened fire on them, killing a yet-to-be-ascertained number of operatives.
A resident of the community, Henry Chukwuma, told Newsmen that the security operatives were members of Search and Flush Team, a combined security outfit in the state comprising soldiers and personnel of the Nigeria Police Force.
Mr Chukwuma, who said the hoodlums killed all the security operatives in the two trucks, could not confirm the number of the operatives killed.
“The gunmen also burnt their corpses. So, nobody will be able to tell how many police officers and soldiers that were killed in the attack,” he said in Igbo language.
A video clip apparently recorded shortly after the attack has been circulating on Facebook and other social media platforms.
In the clip, seen by Newsmen, at least four bodies of the security operatives were in flames.
The two trucks belonging to the operatives were also in flames.
Some residents were heard lamenting the attack and the killing of the operatives.
The police spokesperson in Imo State, Henry Okoye, did not respond to several calls and a text message seeking his comments.
Like other states in Nigeria’s South-east, security has deteriorated in Imo State with frequent attacks by armed persons.
The attacks often target security agencies, government officials and facilities.
Hundreds of people, including traditional rulers, have been killed and injured in such attacks.
The Nigerian government has accused the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra of being responsible for the deadly attacks in the region. But the group has repeatedly denied the accusation.
The separatist group is leading the agitation for an independent state of Biafra which it wants carved out from the South-east and some parts of South-south Nigeria.