Police raid 'IPOB bomb factory' in Imo

"On interrogation, the suspect admitted being the manufacturer of most of the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) used in attacking police stations in the state and outside the state."
Police raid 'IPOB bomb factory' in Imo

Imo State map

FILE

Agency Report

Nigerian police have raided a bomb factory in Imo State where separatist violence is on the rise and arrested a suspect, a spokesman said Saturday.

The raid happened on Wednesday at Uba Umuaka in southeastern Imo state following a tip-off, state police spokesman Michael Abattam said in a statement.

He said police were informed about a hideout where the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra and its militant wing, the Eastern Security Network "are manufacturing Improvised Explosive Devices used in attacking police stations and government facilities in the state".

"In the course of the raid, one Simeon Onigbo, 50 years, was arrested. On interrogation, the suspect admitted being the manufacturer of most of the Improvised Explosive Devices used in attacking police stations in the state and outside the state."

Abattam said items recovered included one IED, 58 pieces of cannon steel pipe, bags of potassium nitrate, sulphur, sand and gunpowder.

"Investigation is ongoing. The suspect has made a useful statement and mentioned members of his gang outside the state," he added.

Southeast Nigeria has seen a surge in violence, with more than 130 police and other security personnel killed by gunmen since last year, according to local media tallies.

Authorities have blamed attacks on either IPOB, which is campaigning for a separate state for the ethnic Igbo people or ESN.

The group has denied responsibility for the violence.

Last month, gunmen using dynamite attacked two police stations in Imo.

Separatist movements in Nigeria are a particularly sensitive issue after a 1967 unilateral declaration of an independent Biafra republic by dissident Igbo army officers sparked a 30-month civil war.

More than one million people, mostly Igbos, died from the conflict, hunger and disease.

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