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Gunmen behead a policeman in Abia state, southeastern Nigeria.
The victim, identified simply as Linus, was beheaded by gunmen on Tuesday when they attacked a police team in Ndiegoro, Aba South Local Government Area of Aba State, PREMIUM TIMES has learned.
Sources said the other officers fled the scene after engaging in a shootout.
The champions later captured Mr. Linus, the assistant superintendent of police, who was with the officers and stripped him of his rifle and uniform after decapitating him.
The gunmen were shouting that they had declared war on the Aba police. “The officer’s head was cut off,” a nearby resident who asked not to be named told this newspaper on Thursday morning.
He said that many residents have left the area due to fear.
The victim, otherwise known as Agbalagba, hailed from Ebonyi state, another state in the South East, but lived in Abia state where he served as an officer.
There have been clashes between security agencies and some miscreants in recent times, residents said.
Neighbors say the cutting of the officer may have been in retaliation for the April 13 police killing of a man in the area.
Geoffrey Ogbonna, the Abia State Police spokesman, did not respond to calls and a text message seeking his comment on the officer’s beheading.
But Mr. Ogbonna, the Superintendent of Police, would later confirm the incident Punch newspaper.
“This dastardly act is strongly condemned and the public is enjoined to help provide credible information about the perpetrators or anyone found with a suspected illegally obtained weapon,” he said.
The police spokesperson appealed to the residents of the state to help the police by providing them with “credible information” that will help track down the mobsters.
He also called on them to report any operative who is not seen with a firearm in the area to the police, assuring that the identity of the informant will be protected.
Like other states in southeastern Nigeria, security has deteriorated in Abia State with frequent attacks by armed men.
Attacks often target security agencies, government officials, and facilities.
The Nigerian government has denounced the illegals Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) for being responsible for deadly attacks in the region. But the group has repeatedly denied having participated in the attacks.
IPOB is leading the agitation for an independent state of Biafra that wants to break out of the South-East and South-South of Nigeria.
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