ABUJA, May 17 (Xinhua) -- Nigerian police late Monday said six gunmen were killed by security operatives who thwarted an attack in the country's southeastern state of Imo.
Mike Abattam, a spokesman for the police in Imo, said in a statement that the gunmen were members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra group.
The gunmen, sighted in their numbers in three trucks and shooting sporadically, had attempted to attack a traditional ruler's palace in the Orlu town of the state when the security operatives intercepted them, Abattam said.
"The hoodlums on sighting the combined team engaged it in a gun duel, throwing petrol bombs. In the exchange of gunfire that ensued, the hoodlums were overwhelmed due to the superior fire-power of the combined team," the police official said, adding six gunmen were killed in the process and many others fled the scene.
He said calm had since been restored in the area, while the corpses of the bandits had been removed and deposited in the mortuary.
"Meanwhile, efforts are in top gear to arrest other fleeing hoodlums," Abattam added.