The Nigerian Army on Tuesday accused members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) of killing two of its personnel in Imo State last weekend.
The deceased whom the army identified as Master Warrant Officer Audu Linus and Private Gloria Matthew, were on their way to Imo State for their traditional marriage rites when the assailants waylaid and shot them dead after raping the bride in presence of her husband.
They later beheaded the couple and made a video of the act.
In a statement issued by its spokesman, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, the army said preliminary findings had shown that the perpetrators of the crime were members of IPOB and vowed that the killers would be tracked down.
Nwachukwu said: “Apparently, the soldiers had embarked on the trip to fulfill the traditional rites of conjugating their matrimony, as the very well respected and cherished Igbo tradition demands.
“Ironically, the fact that one of the soldiers, Pte Gloria Matthew, who hails from Nkwerre Local Government Area of Imo State, has an ethnic affiliation with the good people of South-East Nigeria did not prevail on the sensibility of the dissidents.
“This dastardly act, one too many, clearly portends the deep-seated hate, desperation and lawlessness with which foot soldiers of IPOB/ESN have been unleashing terror on Ndigbo, whom they claim they are on a mission to protect and emancipate, as well as other innocent Nigerians who are resident or transiting the South-East.
“This gruesome murder, in which they did not spare even their own child, clearly depicts callousness, impenitence and is indisputably, a brazen act of terrorism perpetrated by IPOB/ESN.
“While we deeply condole with the families, relations and close associates of the victims, the Nigerian Army has commenced investigation to unmask and bring the criminals to book.”
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