ABUJA, May 18 (Xinhua) -- The death toll of an attack by suspected gunmen on a convoy of the United States consulate in Nigeria's southern state of Anambra has risen from four to seven, local police said Thursday.
Echeng Echeng, the police chief in Anambra, told reporters at a news conference in Awka, the state's capital, that five male officials of the U.S. consulate in Lagos and four armed mobile police officers were in the convoy when a group of unknown gunmen laid an ambush for them and opened fire in the Ogbaru local government area of Anambra Tuesday, fleeing the scene before the arrival of security operatives.
"Regrettably, seven persons, including three of the consulate officials and four mobile police escorts were murdered during the attack while two other officials of the consulate are yet to be found," Echeng said, noting no American citizen was on the trip.
The bodies of the victims were set ablaze, together with their vehicles, by the gunmen, the senior police officer said.
According to Echeng, the police suspected that some members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra, which is agitating for an independent state in the southeastern region of the country, were responsible for the attack.
"Two persons of interest were arrested and they are currently assisting the police in the investigation," the official added. ■