Southeast Nigeria: 10 killed, students abducted

Lagos: Ten people including two police officers have been killed and a number of students abducted in Nigeria’s southeast, police said Friday, in a region where separatist tensions are on the rise.

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Dozens of security operatives have been killed during attacks by gunmen on checkpoints, police stations and prisons in the region in the past few months.

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On Thursday, gunmen stormed Obosi police station in Anambra state but were engaged in a gunbattle by police officers on duty.

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“Two police operatives paid the supreme price,” state police spokesman Ikenga Tochukwu said in a statement, adding an investigation was under way to identify the perpetrators.

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He said the gunmen also set part of the police station and two vehicles ablaze before fleeing.

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In a separate incident on Thursday, a team of police and other security forces repelled an attack on Orlu police station in neighbouring Imo state, police said.

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A senior police officer who asked not to be named told AFP that eight gunmen were killed in the shootout.

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Southeast Nigeria has seen a surge in deadly attacks targeting police and other security forces in the past few months.

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The police have blamed the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), an outlawed separatist movement seeking independence for the Igbo people of the southeast, for some of the attacks.

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But IPOB has denied the charges.

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In another incident in the region, the Abia state government said some university students and passengers were kidnapped by unknown gunmen Wednesday on a highway to neighbouring Imo state.

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Abia information commissioner John Okiyi Kalu said the students “ran into the armed gang who marched them into the nearby forest along with other yet to be identified travellers”.

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“Two of the students managed to escape… while others are still being held,” he said.

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Kidnapping by criminals for ransom is frequent in Nigeria.

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