Gunmen shelled the headquarters of the Ihiala Police Division in the Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State in south-eastern Nigeria.
The attack happened on Wednesday around 3:00 a.m., residents told PREMIUM TIMES.
The gunmen were said to have thrown improvised explosive devices at the facility, leveling a building inside the station.
An indigenous man from the area, Uju Okafor, said shelling and sporadic shooting from gunmen kept them from sleeping during the attack.
“I was very scared when I started hearing about the loud shooting and bomb explosions,” she said.
Okafor said it was later in the morning that they realized the attack took place at a police facility.
Chinonso Okoye, another indigenous man from the area, told PREMIUM TIMES that the armed men freed some inmates during the attack.
“It was very early this morning that the gunmen started shooting and throwing bombs. We heard that they released some people in the police cell,” he said.
Anambra state police spokesman Tochukwu Ikenga confirmed the attack in a statement on Wednesday.
Ikenga, deputy superintendent of police, said some policemen engaged the gunmen in a shootout during the attack and later recovered an Ak-47 rifle.
It said no lives were lost in the incident and the gunmen “escaped the scene due to the superior firepower” of the operatives.
“Unfortunately, the explosives that the gunmen threw inside the police station building have already started a fire and affected the building,” he said.
The police spokesman, however, said the fire had been postponed.
Asked by a PREMIUM TIMES reporter if the gunmen released any inmates during the attack, Ikenga said: “Yes, and now we’re on their trail.”
He did not give the exact number of inmates who were released by the gunmen.
increase in attacks
Like other states in south-eastern Nigeria, security has deteriorated in Anambra State with frequent attacks by armed individuals.
Attacks often target security agencies, government officials, and facilities.
The latest incident occurred less than a week after gunmen invaded two communities in the state. kidnap one person and kill another.
Last Sunday, two state youth groups announced the arrest of more than 80 suspected criminals from their hideouts in the state.
The Nigerian government has charged the outlaws Biafran Indigenous People of being responsible for deadly attacks in the region. But the group has repeatedly denied involvement in the attacks.
The separatist group is leading the agitation for an independent state of Biafra that it wants to separate from the southeast and some parts of south-south Nigeria.
Support PREMIUM TIMES journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. However, only good journalism can guarantee the possibility of a good society, a responsible democracy and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country, we ask that you consider making a modest support for this noble effort.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to keep journalism relevant and ensuring that it remains free and available to everyone.
TEXT AD: Call Willie – +2348098788999