UPDATED: How gunmen killed eight security operatives in Rivers checkpoint attacks
Gory details have emerged of how over 70 gunmen raided checkpoints along the busy Port Harcourt-Owerri Road, killing about eight security operatives.
It was gathered the gunmen, who started their operations around 8pm on Saturday, attacked four checkpoints from Elele to Omagwa in Ikwerre Local Government Area, Rivers State.
Out of the eight operatives killed, three were said to be military personnel, three Customs officials and two policemen.
Some were reportedly beheaded while others were burnt beyond recognition.
Sources said the gunmen gained entrance into Omagwa and Elele through the border towns in Imo State.
They were said to have marched through the bush paths and swooped on innocent security men on duty.
A police situation report dated April 25, identified the gunmen as members of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB).
One of the attacked checkpoints located along Airport Road Omagwa, belonged to the Joint Task Force (JTF) and was manned by nine policemen and two soldiers.
It was gathered two burnt corpses of security operatives were later recovered at the JTF checkpoint, which was scattered and burnt by the gunmen.
The gunmen, according to the report, later invaded a checkpoint of the Nigeria Customs Service at Isiokpo killing three customs officials.
It was gathered the hoodlums carted away the rifles of the security operatives and their patrol vans with sirens.
They were said to have advanced to attack the Police Area Command at Isiokpo but were repelled by gallant policemen on duty.
A combined team of security operatives were said to have launched a manhunt for the fleeing gunmen.
The Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed the attacks on police checkpoints but failed to mention casualty figures.
He said: “I can confirm the attack on security personnel along the Omagwa/Isiokpo/Elele Owerri Road. Details are sketchy.
“The Commissioner of Police has launched a full scale Investigation into the dastardly attack with a view to arresting the perpetrators and bringing them to justice.
“Meanwhile, the area is calm with reinforced and increased joint patrols of that stretch and other areas in the state by the security Agencies. So far, the State is calm and secure and no cause for alarm”.