Two police officers were injured on Wednesday night when gunmen attacked police officers at a checkpoint in Umuahia, Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State, Nigeria’s South-east.
The incident happened around 8 p.m. in front of the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) of the police.
The gunmen were said to have opened fire on the officers, causing two of them to sustain gunshot injuries.
The police spokesperson in Abia State, Geoffrey Ogbonna, confirmed the attack to PREMIUM TIMES, Thursday morning.
He, however, debunked reports that the attack happened at the SCID headquarters.
Mr Ogbonna said although the officers were supposed to be at the headquarters to beef up security, they were attacked outside the facility during a routine “stop and search” operation.
“Two of the officers were injured and their rifles taken away by the gunmen,” he said.
Mr Ogbonna, a superintendent of police, said the injured officers had been taken to a hospital for treatment.
He said the police were investigating the attack and have launched an operation to track down the fleeing suspects.
The police spokesperson urged residents of the state to provide the police with information that can help the investigation.
Security has deteriorated in Nigeria’s South-east with frequent attacks by armed persons across the region.
The attacks often target security agencies, government officials and facilities.
The latest incident came about one year after the SCID in Umuahia was attacked by gunmen.
The Nigerian government has accused the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra of being responsible for the deadly attacks in the region. But the group has repeatedly denied their involvement in the attacks.
The separatist group is leading agitation for an independent state of Biafra to be carved out from the South-east and some parts of the South-south Nigeria.
The leader of the group, Nnamdi Kanu, is being detained in Abuja where he is facing trial for terrorism.