Three members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) were feared dead after Monday evening clash with policemen near Amawire, Orji in Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State.
Police sources said the separatists had stormed the Okigwe Road and were brazenly destroying billboards and posters of candidates of political parties apparently to discourage participation in the forthcoming elections.
A police detachment was swiftly despatched to restrain the rampaging IPOB members but rather got into a brutal confrontation with the separatists.
“IPOB members took to the streets destroying billboards of candidates of political parties. Policemen were quickly drafted to the scene but on sighting the policemen, the IPOB members attacked them.
“In the ensuing battle, three members of IPOB lost their lives while two were rushed to the hospital. Four policemen were also shot and taken to the hospital,” one of the sources said.
An unconfirmed report said an AK47 rifle belonging to one of the policemen was snatched during the encounter.
Another police source said the Commander of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Victor Geoffrey, later mobilised his men to the scene and arrested some of the IPOB members.
“Commander of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), following the development, mobilised his men to the scene and overpowered the IPOB members. As I speak to you, 20 of them are in our custody.
“We recovered many Biafra insignia from the suspects as exhibits. We will charge them to court after investigations,” the source said.