Police operatives are currently engaged in a gun battle with some hoodlums in Owerri, Imo State.

The hoodlums, according to a report by the Vanguard newspaper, set ablaze a police facility in Orji, Owerri, before the police moved in to engage them in a shootout.

The paper quoted a witness as saying that the attack on the police facility occurred at about 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, and that the hoodlums wore red and black attire.

A clip of the incident posted around 1:43 p.m. on Twitter showed thick black smoke billowing from a building – apparently, the attacked police station.

A background voice in the clip said the gunmen were holding their position, while the police had retreated.

“See unknown gunman!” a voice that sounded frightened could be heard shouting in the video.

“Let the army come out nah,” another voice responded.

The Owerri attack comes a few hours after similar attacks on police facilities in Anambra and Enugu states, all within Nigeria’s South-east region.

About five police operatives are said to have been killed in the Enugu attack. The police are yet to confirm the number of casualties, however.

Facilities belonging to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have also been attacked and set ablaze by hoodlums in the different states in the South-east.

Meanwhile, a former senator, Shehu Sani, has urged residents in the states in the South-east to resist the continuous attacks against police facilities and INEC in their areas.

“The attacks on Police formations and INEC facilities in the south-east must be resisted by the people of the South-east to prevent the region from finding itself in the situation of the North-east,” Mr Sani, who had represented Kaduna Central District, said in a Twitter post on Tuesday.

“Crippling law enforcement is a prelude to anarchy, terrorism and disorder,” he added.

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