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Three killed as JTF intercepts car snatching in Imo

Three killed as JTF intercepts car snatching in Imo
August 30
23:40 2021

The Joint Task Force (JTF) in Imo says it has killed three members of a syndicate that specialises in car snatching.

Raymond Utsaha, commander of 34 artillery brigade, confirmed the incident to journalists in Owerri, Imo state capital, on Monday.

Utsaha, however, alleged that the deceased were members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), the militia group of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

He said the suspects robbed a man of a mini SUV Toyota Rav4 at a filling station in Ngor Okpala LGA of the state, and they were trying to escape with the car when the task force intercepted them at Umuonyenwere Umuowa community, following a tip-off.

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He said the suspects engaged the operatives in a gun battle which led to the killing of two members of the gang, while others escaped into a nearby bush with gunshot wounds.

Also speaking, Idowu Ayo, commander of 211 quick response, said “some of them ran into the bush with bullet wounds”.

“We combed the bush and brought these ones out,” Ayo said.

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He charged residents of the state to contact the army “when they see any decomposing bodies as they go to their farms”.

He also appealed to residents to assist the army with relevant information that will help stamp out crime from the area.

“No one says you should confront them. It is your responsibility to inform us once you see anyone coming to disrupt the peace in your community,” he added.

Items said to have been recovered from the gang included two vehicles, two locally-made pistols, five spent rounds, some illicit drugs, charms, and two number plates.

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According to NAN, Chigozie Odemene, one of the suspects, spoke with journalists about his involvement in the robbery before he reportedly died.

Odemene was quoted as saying he was called on Sunday night under the guise of joining the gunmen to enforce the IPOB sit-at-home order on Monday.

“They came to pick me up last night but I didn’t know it was for car theft,” he reportedly said.

“My mother had warned me about going out today (Monday), following a dream she had.”

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This story is published in partnership with Report for the World, a global service program that supports local public interest journalism.

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