Police operatives in Imo on Friday raided a suspected camp of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its arm wing, Eastern Security Network (ESN) in the state.
The spokesman for the state police command, Michael Abattam, who disclosed this in a statement in Owerri, said five suspected members of the group were killed and several others injured in the raid.
He added that three police operatives were injured in the operation.
Abattam said that the raid was carried out following credible information on the clandestine activities of the group at Izombe in Oguta local government area of the state.
He said: “The hoodlums, who on sighting the police operatives, engaged them in a gun battle.
“However, they were overwhelmed by the superior firepower of the gallant police operatives.
“During the fierce gun battle, the hoodlums suffered huge casualties.”
Items recovered from the suspects include three English-made pump action guns, 118 GPMG ammunition, 41 AK 47 live ammunition, 19 G3 ammunition, one cut-to-size locally made double-barrel, and one locally-made double-barrel gun.
Others are four locally-made pistols, four locally-made explosive devices, military and police uniforms, Biafran flags, four ESN caps, one pair of police boots, various types of hard drugs, and some police accoutrements.
The spokesman added: “Also recovered were four live tortoises, large quantities of weeds, suspected to be Cannabis, and red cloth.
“After the successful raid, the operatives while leaving the camp were ambushed some distance away by the hoodlums, who engaged them in another gun duel.
“During the exchange of gun fire, the operatives were able to subdue them and, in the process, five of them were neutralised.
“Unfortunately, three police operatives sustained non-life threatening injuries and were taken to a government hospital where they were treated.”