Gunmen attacked and killed four Anambra Surveillance Services officers and also set fire to five buildings.
The incident was reported to have occurred in the Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State at 2 am on Thursday.
A source in the area said that after attacking and killing the vigilantes at the local government secretariat, the gunmen beheaded one of them.
He said the gunmen also used an improvised explosive device to set fire to about five buildings in the area.
An unconfirmed source also added that one of the affected buildings housed the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The motive for the attack could not be determined, but state police spokesman DSP Tochukwu Ikenga confirmed the incident.
Ikenga said that the police officers were alerted and when they arrived at the scene, one of the gunmen was killed by police officers when they were confronted.
He confirmed that by the time the police officers responded to the call, the gunmen had killed three guards who were on duty and set fire to five buildings with improvised explosive devices and Molotov cocktails.
He said that police and military operations are currently underway in the area.
He said: “Following ongoing police/military operations in Ihiala and its neighboring town, operatives responded to a distress call around 2:55am today 12/1/2023 of an attack on the government headquarters. Ihiala local.
“Police neutralized one of the attackers, recovered two locally manufactured luncher IEDs, seven unidentified IEDs, forty pieces of live cartridges, fifteen 7.62mm Ak47 live ammunition, knives, amulets and other dangerous 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/attackers 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.”