This is barely 24 hours after unknown gunmen invaded the Imo State police command headquarters and the Nigerian Correctional Service in Owerri.
Residents of Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State were thrown into panic when the military shelled the Ikot Akpan forest to flush out criminals who unleashed terror on security agencies in the state.
Speaking on the development, residents who live close to the forest explained that they started hearing gunshots around 8am on Tuesday.
This is barely 24 hours after unknown gunmen invaded the Imo State police command headquarters and the Nigerian Correctional Service in Owerri and released 1,844 prisoners.
President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered the military to track down gunmen responsible for the jailbreak.
Consequently, the military deployed helicopters for aerial surveillance before ground troop unleashed terror on the criminals.
However, the authorities had earlier informed civilians to avoid the Ikot Akpan forest over the intended crackdown on criminals.
Despite previous notice of the operation, residents still expressed fear as the fighter jets flew at low levels in the area.
Essien Sunday, a resident of the Essien Udim LGA, said residents were scared, adding that he directed his wife and children to stay indoors.
He said, “Although we heard the information, nobody knew it was going to be that fearful. So, I instructed my wife and children to remain indoors throughout the exercise.
“I don’t know how many people were arrested by the army but what I know is that they carried out an aerial surveillance of communities in the LGA.”
The Inspector-General of Police, Adamu Muhammed earlier threatened to fish out members of the Indigenous People of Biafra allegedly responsible for the attack on Owerri Correctional Prison in Imo State on Monday, April 5, 2021.