Fear continues to pervade the atmosphere in Imo State as gunmen in the early hours of Thursday attacked the Mbieri Divisional Police Headquarters situated in the Mbaitoli Local Government Area of the state.

Our correspondent gathered from an indigene of Mbieri that the fleeing gunmen struck around 1am and immediately released the suspects in custody in the police facility.

The gunmen also took away the phones belonging to suspects and the police operatives at the Division.

But a police source at Division told our correspondent that the gunmen were repelled by the policemen on duty.

The police source said “We resisted them but they overpowered us. They had more sophisticated weapons. They took all the phones they saw, released the suspects when they gained access and vandalised the police building.”

The source confided in our correspondent that the attackers kidnapped one police officer and injured two other cops.

A community leader, Nokey Ebikam, told our correspondent that the police divisional headquarters was not burnt.

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According to him, the gunmen didn’t raze the police facility but freed the suspects in detention after vandalising the Division.

Another indigene of the area, Darlington Irobi, confirmed the attack on the police facility to our correspondent.

He also disclosed that the suspects were freed by the rampaging gunmen.

Police spokesperson in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, confirmed the attack on the police station when he was contacted by The PUNCH on Thursday morning.

He also confirmed that while one police officer was missing, two others where injured owing to the resistance put by the policemen on duty.

Ikeokwu, also confirmed that some suspects detained in the police facility were freed by the attackers.

He, however assured that the police authority in the state had commenced investigation into the attack, immediately.

It was gathered that six Divisional Police Headquarters had been attacked between February and April apart from the state Police Command headquarters and Owerri Correctional Center which were attacked on Monday, respectively, with 1,884 inmates released and over 50 vehicles burnt

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The gunmen also attacked a military base at Ukwuorji on the Owner-Onitsha Expressway, burnt a soldier in a car and razed four other operational vehicles belonging to the military.

The other Police divisions attacked in the state within two months are Obowo, Aboh Mbaise, Ihitte/ Uboma, Isiala Mbano and the Ehime Mbano Divisional Police Headquarters.

 

PUNCH

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