Three of the gunmen who attacked a police checkpoint in Anambra State have been killed, Nigerian Army authorities have said.
The Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, who confirmed this in a statement on Saturday revealed that a policeman died during the incident.
He explained that the gunmen had attacked the police checkpoint along the Okija-Onitsha Expressway on Thursday before troops attached to Sector 5 of Exercise Golden Dawn arrived at the scene.
“The gallant troops engaged and overwhelmed the gunmen with superior firepower, forcing them to flee the scene. Troops gave them a hot pursuit, and engaged the gunmen in a gun duel,” the statement said.
“The three gunmen, who drove in two vehicles – Hilux and hummer bus – eventually succumbed to troops’ effective firepower, while others fled with gunshot wounds.
“Unfortunately, a policeman paid the supreme price, in the line of duty, for his country.”
According to him, the soldiers also recovered a vehicle and two motorcycles while conducting a further search of the general area for the fleeing armed men.
In his reaction, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Farouk Yahaya, commended the troops for the feat and urged them to sustain the momentum against all criminal elements operating in the South-East.
He also sympathised with the family of the slain policeman and prayed for the repose of his soul.
The army spokesman issued the statement a day after Yahaya addressed instructors at Depot Nigerian Army, Nigerian Military School (NMS), Directorate of Army Physical Training (DAPT), and Army School of Physical Training (ASPT), during which he asked troops across the country to be alert and vigilant while discharging their duties.
The current security challenges, according to the army chief, call for all to be vigilant, and for troops to conduct themselves professionally while adhering to the rules of engagement and standard operating procedures.