There was panic among residents of the Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State on Tuesday as the military bombarded the Ikot Akpan forest in the area.
According to journalist the military operation was aimed at flushing out hoodlums who had been attacking police formations in the state.
Residents, who share boundaries with hoodlums’ hideouts, told one of our correspondents that the bombing of the forest started at 8am and ended at 12 noon on Tuesday.
The military exercising came slightly 24 hours after gunmen attacked the Imo State police command headquarters and the Nigerian Correctional Service in Owerri, the kingdom capital, wherein 1,844 inmates had been freed.
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), in a declaration by way of his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Monday ordered protection companies to completely mobilise and cross after gunmen that had been attacking security groups.
It turned into collected that earlier than the navy exercise in Akwa State on Tuesday, citizens were requested to steer clear of the Ikot Akpan woodland suspected to be a camp of gunmen.
Residents stated the operation began with the deployment of helicopters and drones for aerial surveillance and bombing before floor troops moved in to flush out crook factors.
The Essien Udim LGA, in which the Minister of Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio, hails from, has been under attacks through gunmen, who have been killing cops and destroying their centers.
Recall that hoodlums, whom many suspected to be participants of a cult group in February, this yr attacked the police on the Ikpe Annang junction, wherein a police inspector changed into set ablaze internal a police van.
Also in February, they attacked Ikot Afanga network and killed an inspector of police identified as Aniekan, while a divisional police station inside the LGA was set ablaze by using the hoodlums. They also burnt police automobiles.
On March 31, 2021, three law enforcement officials, including a chief superintendent of police, Ben Ajide, have been killed and four others declared lacking in a failed reprisal completed by way of the police towards the hoodlums.
On Tuesday morning, residents, who had no longer fled the vicinity stayed interior as the military bombarded the hideouts of the criminals.
Fear gripped citizens as fighter jets flew at low tiers to ensure proper surveillance of the area.