Gunmen on Thursday night attacked the Divisional Police Headquarters in the Orlu Local Government Area of Imo state, killing a police inspector.
The recent attack, during which three of the assailants were fatally shot, brought the number of policemen killed in Imo to 22 since the beginning of onslaught on police formations and military checkpoints in the state and other south-eastern parts of the country in recent months.
PUNCH Investigations had in a recent publication detailing the plight of widows of the slain policemen reported that 21 cops were killed in the state.
The Nigerian Army had also in January claimed that the Eastern Security Network set up by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra killed 128 military and police personnel, 15 officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, and 31 community policing members in the South-East.
In the Thursday incident, City Round learnt that parts of the police Division and vehicles parked on the premises were burnt.
Our correspondent was told that the attackers and the policemen on duty engaged in a gun battle for some time during which four persons were killed.
The police spokesperson for the state police command, Mike Abattam, said the incident occurred around 11.30pm.
He said some of the surviving bandits escaped with bullet wounds.
Abattam said, “On August 5, at 21:35 hours, bandits, in their numbers attacked and threw explosives and petrol bombs on top of the roof of Orsu Police Station damaging the roof and causing fire outbreak in the station which spread and affected some of the vehicles parked at the parking lot. The command’s tactical teams on ground engaged the bandits in a gun duel.
“Due to the superior fire power of the police, the bandits were subdued. Three of them were neutralised and their guns, one pump-action gun and two locally-made double-barrelled pistols were recovered while others escaped into the bush with bullet wounds. Unfortunately, a police inspector lost his life in the attack.
“Meanwhile the command is using this medium to call on the good people of Imo State especially, the Orsu community to assist the police with credible information that will lead to the arrest of the escaped bandits and report to the nearest police station any person seen with or treating bullet wounds. Also hospitals are advised to ensure that they report any person who comes to them for treatment of bullet wounds.”