FOUR persons were killed when unknown gunmen attacked a convoy of vehicles conveying officials of the United States (US) Embassy in Nigeria on Tuesday, May 16.
The incident reportedly occurred late on Tuesday night in the Amiyi/Eke Ochuche axis of Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State.
According to reports, the diplomatic delegation, said to be on a humanitarian mission, came under fire as they were passing through the area.
As of the time of filing this report, details of the attack remain unknown but sources confirm that four staff of the embassy were killed in the attack.
Spokesperson of the Anambra Police Command, Tochukwu Ikenga, confirmed the incident to Daily Trust but did not go into details.
“Following the information of the shooting incident within the Ogbaru community, the Commissioner of Police, CP Echeng Echeng, has deployed a police team led by the deputy commissioner of police in charge of operations to arrest the situation.
“Meanwhile, the details of the incident are still sketchy, I will get back to you as soon as I can, please,” Ikenga to Daily Trust Newspaper.
Meanwhile, the Spokesperson for US National Security Council (NSC), John Kirby, also confirmed the incident to reporters in the White House.
In a press briefing, Kirby disclosed that casualty was recorded in the attack, but added that no US citizen was affected.
“I just got informed about that here before coming here to talk to you. It does look like US convoy vehicle was attacked.
“What I can tell you is that no US citizens were involved, and therefore, there was no US citizen hurt. But we are aware of some casualties, perhaps even some killed.
“But I don’t want to get too far ahead of where we are right now,” Kirby stated.
He added that State Department will look into the issue.
The incident occurred in a region of Nigeria struggling with separatist terrorism and violent crimes. The identity of the attackers is unclear.
The US Mission in Nigeria affirmed the attack and stated that its staff was working with Nigerian security officers to identify the cause.
“We confirm there was an incident on May 16 in Anambra State. US Mission Nigeria personnel are working with Nigerian security services to investigate.
“The security of our personnel is always paramount, and we take extensive precautions when organising trips to the field. We have no further comment at this time,” a US Mission in Nigeria spokesperson told Daily Trust.
Recently, there has been much violence in Anambra and other South Eastern states.
Security operatives have blamed the attacks on the outlawed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and it’s military wing, Eastern Security Network (ESN), but the group has constantly denied it.
The ICIR reported that a hundred and eighty-seven people died due to insecurity within five months in the South-East region of Nigeria.
The data obtained from the Council on Foreign Relations’ Nigeria Security Tracker (NST) – a website that tracks violent incidents related to political, economic, and social grievances directed at the state or other affiliated groups – covers January to May 24, 2022.