BY SUNNY A. DAVID

The Anambra State police command on Sunday said it killed two gunmen in different operations in Okija in Ihiala Local Government Area of the state at the weekend.The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen on Sunday in Awka, the state capital.Mr. Ikenga said four automatic pump-action [rifles], four vehicles, four motorcycles, and other items were recovered from the suspects, adding that police operatives in the state had intensified and improved operational positioning to respond to distress calls.The PPRO said: ”Anambra State security forces, comprising the military and the police, neutralised two gunmen, recovered four automatic pump-action [rifles], one cutlass, one ash-coloured Lexus Jeep 350 with reg. number KJA- 666HE, one white Toyota Hilux Jeep without a reg. number, one white Toyota Corolla with reg. number HAL- 732RF, one silver Highlander Jeep without a reg. number, and four motorcycles without reg. numbers.“The recovery followed a distress call at about 9:30 a.m. on 23 July 2022 ( Saturday) along Onitsha/Owerri expressway junction leading to Nkwo market, Okija, where some hoodlums blocked the road and were robbing/extorting motorists. The joint forces responded swiftly and engaged the hoodlums in a gun duel, and neutralised one of the armed men while others escaped the scene with bullet wounds. In another development, police operatives at about 3:30 p.m. on the same date, while on clearance operation, sighted another criminal gang at Nkwo market, Okija, harassing sellers and buyers and residents in the area.”The operatives engaged the armed men in a gun duel. One of the suspects was neutralised and two automatic pump-action [rifles] and one machete were recovered while others fled the scene.“[There was] no casualty on the part of the operatives and the situation has been brought under control. Meanwhile, operation is still ongoing to apprehend the other fleeing gang members,” the PPRO added.The police spokesman added that the commissioner of police in the state, Mr. Echeng Echeng, while charging the operatives to sustain the tempo against onslaught on criminal elements, ordered that patrols be intensified and operational positioning improved to respond to distress calls in the state.

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