Some as-yet-unidentified gunmen have attacked Anambra Surveillance Service men in the state’s Ihiala Local Government Area, killing four of the officers.

PUNCH Subway deduced that the assailants, who broke into the area around 02:00 on Thursday, also set fire to five buildings.

A source said that one of the burned buildings belonged to the Independent National State Electoral Commission.

The source said that the thugs, after killing the watchmen at the local government secretariat, decapitated one of them and ripped off his head.

He noted that the thugs used improvised explosive devices to set the buildings on fire.

A community leader, Innocent Ozuru, said the incident caused panic as the bodies of the victims littered the road and caused a traffic jam before police cleared the area.

He said: “The Ihiala community has been under siege of late and it is a pity that the security officials have not matched their words with action. For example, Ihiala is a border town with many thick forests, which have become a nest for these criminals. How much will it cost authorities to start clearing these forests and converting them to more productive uses?

“People are fleeing their ancestral homes in droves; How long will this continue in a country where there is a government? Our local government headquarters have been destroyed and these thugs have continued to unleash terror without looking back.”

The motive for the attack could not be determined at the time of filing this report.

State police spokesman DSP Tochukwu Ikenga confirmed the incident, adding that police killed one of the thugs.

He said: “Following ongoing police/military operations in Ihiala and its neighboring town, operatives responded to a distress call at around 2:55am today, January 12, 2023, of an attack on the headquarters. of the local government of Ihiala.

“Police neutralized one of the attackers, recovered two locally made IED launchers, seven unexploded IEDs, 40 pieces of live cartridges, 15 live 7.62mm AK-47 ammunition, knives, amulets and other weapons.

“The attackers had already killed three guards on duty, beheaded one and set fire to five buildings with improvised explosive devices and Molotov cocktails.

“Joint task force officers confronted the arsonists/assailants and prevented them from causing further damage, while some escaped with gunshot wounds.

“The bodies of the victims have been recovered and joint operations continue. More developments will be communicated, please.”