(Video) Nigerian Police Arrest Two Over Attack on US Embassy Staff

The police arrest two persons of interest, while two consulate officials remain missing

The police in Anambra state, Southeast Nigeria have briefed the media on the attack that took place in the region, resulting in the death of seven people. According to the Anambra State Police Commissioner Echeng Echeng, “Three of the consulate officials and four police mobile personnel were killed during that attack while two other officials of the consulate are still missing.” He further mentioned that two individuals of interest have been arrested and are currently assisting the police with their investigation.

The incident occurred earlier this week when suspected separatists ambushed a US consulate convoy in southern Nigeria. The attack claimed the lives of three local staff members and four security escorts. The gunmen opened fire on the two vehicles in southeastern Anambra State, an area where the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) separatist group advocates for the ethnic Igbo people.

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No US citizens were involved in the attack, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that there were no indications that the assault specifically targeted the US embassy.

In Nigeria, attacks on diplomats are uncommon. The country’s armed forces are currently engaged in combating various security threats, including militants, criminal gangs, and separatists in different regions, as President-elect Bola Tinubu is set to assume office on May 29.

According to the Anambra State police commissioner Echeng Echeng, IPOB or their armed wing, the Eastern Security Network, are suspected of being responsible for the convoy attack. He explained, “They suddenly came under attack by armed men who targeted them with gunfire and set their vehicles ablaze. Regrettably, seven individuals, including three consulate officials and four police mobile personnel, lost their lives in the attack.” Additionally, two local US consulate staff members remain missing following the ambush, and two suspects connected to the attack have been apprehended.

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The purpose of the US consulate team’s journey was to visit a USAID-funded project that provides humanitarian aid to individuals displaced by flooding in Anambra last year. During the encounter, security forces engaged in a gun battle with the assailants, who managed to escape into the forests. On Wednesday, the security forces conducted a raid on a suspected separatist camp, only to find it deserted.

IPOB has frequently been accused of targeting police patrols and killing security officers in South East Nigeria, although the group consistently denies any involvement in acts of violence.

On Wednesday, the Anambra State government condemned what they described as a “heinous and unprovoked” attack on the convoy. However, they also suggested that the US team had not properly informed local officials of their movements. The government highlighted that their crackdown on criminal gangs had created tensions, which could lead to retaliatory attacks on police, particularly in areas similar to where the convoy was targeted.

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Anambra State Police Commissioner Echeng Echeng addressing journalists

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