The operatives also recovered seven vehicles the attackers came in for the operation.
Since the turn of 2021, gunmen had successfully carried out attacks on about ten police stations, including the burning of the Police Command headquarters and freeing of over 1,800 prisoners from the Owerri Correctional Centre.
Our correspondent gathered the gun battle between the gunmen and security operatives in Orlu lasted several hours as the military sent reinforcement from the 34 artillery brigade, Obinze, in Owerri to the area.
The gun duel created an atmosphere of panic as people scampered for safety, as the roads in Orlu town and its environs were deserted.
A resident of the area, who preferred not to be mentioned, told our correspondent that “we slept with our hearts in our hands last night.’
He also disclosed that an Amoured Personnel Carrier was allegedly set ablaze at Umuna junction in Orlu town.
He also disclosed one of his cousins was hit by a stray bullet.
Police spokesperson, Orlando Ikeokwu, could not be reached but a senior police officer confirmed the development to The Nation.
The Police Chief told our correspondent the corpses of the hoodlums and their vehicles had been brought to the Police Command headquarters in Owerri.
He disclosed the police Divisional headquarters was not razed neither was any security personnel killed in the attack.
The source said: “We successfully repelled an attempt to raze Orlu Divisional Police Headquarters, last night. The hoodlums came in multiple vehicles and sophisticated weapons and assault riffles. They were repelled and eight of them were gunned down and with seven vehicles belonging to them recovered.
“Their corpses and seven vehicles belonging to them had been conveyed to Imo state police command headquarters in Owerri. As I speak to you now, they are with us. You need to see their charms and other things hanging on their necks.
“It was a big war. The gun battle lasted for hours but our men made up of the police, military and air Force over powered them. They were denied access into the police station premises. Successfully, eight were killed and seven vehicles recovered. Others fled.”