Tension heightened on Friday at Akpawfu community in Nkanu East local government area of Enugu State following the reported raiding of the secret camp of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) arm of the proscribed Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) by a combined team of security operatives.
Though the casualty figure could not be ascertained as at the time of filing this report, sources, however, said there was heavy sound of gunfire from the area and within the communities of Akpugo and Amagunze.
It was further learnt that the ESN members reportedly resisted the security operatives from accessing their camp, thereby engaging them in a gun duel which reportedly lasted for several hours.
Residents of the three communities were said to have fled their homes and sought refuge in the bush for fear of being arrested by security operatives who eventually made several arrests.
It was further learnt that Akpawfu and neighbouring communities of Akpugo and Amagunze have been deserted as the security men have invaded the entire area searching for the ESN members.
Some of the residents who spoke to our correspondent claimed that the heavy sound of gunfire could be likened to that of a raging war.
Sources further disclosed that the raid on the Nkanu communities followed a tip-off that the gunmen that attacked a police checkpoint at Obeagu/Amodu axis on the Amechi – Agbani road on Wednesday evening operated from their camp at Akpawfu.
During the attack on the checkpoint, more than four persons were killed while several others were injured and a police patrol van was set ablaze by the unknown gunmen.
Sources further claimed that the three vehicles used by the gunmen during the attack on the checkpoint that claimed about six lives including four policemen, were discovered by the police.
Meanwhile, efforts to get official reaction of the state police command on the Friday encounter between the security operatives and the ESN members was not successful
As at the time of filing this report, the State Police Public Relations Officer, (PPRO), Daniel Ndukwe, was yet to pick his calls put across to his phone.