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Attack on US Convoy: Death toll rises as police release identity o

May 18, 2023

The police in Anambra State, South-east Nigeria, have released fresh figures of victims of the attack by gunmen on Tuesday in the state.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how gunmen killed officials of the US Consulate and some police officers after ambushing their convoy along Atani-Osamala Road in Ogbaru Local Government Area of the state.

Fresh figures

Two officials of the US Consulate alongside two police officers attached to their convoy were earlier reported killed by the gunmen, while three others, including two other police officers and their driver, were abducted by the attackers.

But the Commissioner of Police in Anambra State, Echeng Echeng, has confirmed that more people were killed during the attack.

Mr Echeng, who spoke on Thursday during a press conference in Awka, said seven people, not four, have been confirmed killed in the attack while two officials of the US consulate were still missing.

The police commissioner said five male officials of the US consulate and four armed mobile police officers escorted the officials from Lagos State when they were attacked by gunmen who also set their vehicles ablaze.

“Regrettably, seven persons, including three of the consulate officials and four mobile police escorts were murdered during the attack while two other officials of the consulate are yet to be found,” he said, maintaining that no US citizen was killed in the attack.

The US officials were on a mission to assess the impact of erosion in Ogbaru Local Government Area, he said.

The police commissioner identified the slain officers as Bukar Adams, Friday Morgan, Adam Andrew, and Emmanuel Lupata – all inspectors from Squadron 23, Police Mobile Force, Lagos State, South-west Nigeria.

Mr Echeng said authorities of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have informed them that apart from the four officers, five staff members of the agency were victims of the attack.

Established in 1961, USAID is an agency of the US government responsible for administering civilian foreign aid and development assistance mainly in low-income countries.

The staffers of the USAID who are victims of the attack were identified as Jefferson Obayuwane, Sunday Prince Ubong, Ekene Nweke, Hassan Etila and Avwuvie Kaye Monday – all of them Nigerians.

The police did not, however, confirm if any of them were among the US officials killed in the attack or those missing after the attack.

“Meanwhile, the remains of the deceased persons have all been recovered and deposited at St. Charles Borromeo Hospital, Onitsha while the police and other security agencies are working round-the-clock, in concert with the Government of Anambra State, to find and rescue the missing officials,” he said.

The police commissioner urged residents of the state to support the police “timeously” with information about the identities and locations of the attackers.

He commiserated with the US consulate as well as the families of those killed in the attack, assuring that the police were resolute and determined alongside other security agencies to track down the gunmen.

Arrest and raid of the suspects’ camp

Mr Echeng also said the gunmen who carried out the attack were suspected members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra, a group agitating for an independent state of Biafra for Igbo-speaking people in the south-east Nigeria.

He said the police in the state received information about the attack from an official of the US consulate at about 2:30 p.m., prompting police authorities to deploy a joint team of police and troops of the Nigerian Navy in the area.

“Upon arrival at the scene of the incident, the joint security team sighted and engaged the assailants in a shoot-out but they escaped through a nearby forest,” he stated.

The police commissioner said a security team comprising police from the command, troops of the Nigerian Army as well as the Nigerian Navy raided a camp in Ugwuaneocha, a community in the council area where the attack happened.

He said the raid followed their suspicion that the camp served as a hideout of the gunmen who carried out the attack, although they discovered the camp had been deserted.

“Two persons of interest were arrested and they are currently assisting the police in the investigation. The criminal camp was razed down by the joint security team,” Mr Echeng said. (Premium Times)

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