Imo State Governor Senator Hope Uzodimma has imposed a dusk to dawn curfew in all the local government areas of Orlu following clashes between security forces and members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN).
Residents of Orlu have been thrown into panic following clash between a joint task force of the Nigerian soldiers, the police and a group suspected to be members of the Eastern Security Network at the early hours of Tuesday.
According to residents of the area, operatives of the Nigerian Army and police arrived the area and started shooting sporadically along timber market in Orlu local government of the state, forcing people to scamper for their lives.
It was gathered that group of youth, suspected to be members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) recently recruited by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), were said to be guarding the area against a suspected attack by the military.
However, not long after the arrival of the police and army officers, ESN operatives also landed, leading to a gun battle between the Police and Army on one side and the ESN on the other side, which later turned into a bloody shootout.
Unconfirmed reports said two soldiers were feared dead while more than 12 soldiers were said to have be captured alive. The Timber market in Orlu has been shut down abruptly.
Meanwhile, a group known as Coalition of Imo Progressive Stakeholders has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to order the immediate withdrawal of military in Orlu and its environs. A release signed by the spokesperson of the group, Prince MacDonald Enwere, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Chief of the Army Staff to order the immediate withdrawal of military in the area.
“We are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct his Chief Of Army Staff to order the withdrawal of soldiers in Orlu with immediate effect”.
The group further called on Imolites not to engage in any act capable of threatening the peace of the state.
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