Gunmen suspected to be members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), the militant wing of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Tuesday afternoon engaged joint security operatives in a gun battle in Ihiala Local Government Area.
The attack came as the supplementary governorship election holding in Ihiala was under way.
It was gathered that the the gunmen were seeking to enter Ihiala through Imo State, as Mbosi and Orsumoghu where the attack happened are border towns with communities in Imo State.
THISDAY reporter who was covering the supplementary governorship election in Ihiala ran into a barricade set up by joint security operatives at Mbosi/Orsumoghu junction.
The joint security operatives comprising mobile policemen, Army, Navy and other security agencies stopped journalists, and after a brief search, turned the journalists back, disclosing that a gun battle was ongoing ahead.
Two unidentified police men and a soldier who spoke to our reporter said: “You have to go back for your own good. For three hours now, we have been exchanging fire with your IPOB brothers.
“Our men are in the bush now, and it will be risky for you to take this route,” the security operatives advised journalists.
When THISDAY reached the Anambra State commissioner of police, CP Echeng Eworo, he refused to confirm the development, asking that the reporter should call back later.
THISDAY also noticed a team of security men loaded in 10 Hilux vans, heading to Mbosi/Orsumoghu junction as reinforcement, as of the time of filing this report.