No fewer than 82 bandits, armed with ‘very high’ calibre weapons, including Anti-Aircraft (AA) Guns, have been killed and several others injured in air interdiction missions executed by the Air Component of Operation Hadarin Daji in Katsina and Zamfara states.
Maj. Gen. John Enenche, Coordinator Defence Media Operations (DMO), who disclosed this on Wednesday said 67 bandits were killed at Birnin Kogo Forest in Katsina, while 15 armed bandits were eliminated at Ajjah Forest in Zamfara State.
The coordinator said both air strikes were carried out yesterday, 23 November 2020, sequel to credible Human Intelligence (HUMINT) reports as well as aerial surveillance missions that led to the identification of the 2 forest hideouts, which housed scores of the armed bandits along with hundreds of rustled cattle.
“The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets and helicopter gunships dispatched by the Air Component to attack the 2 locations took turns in engaging the target areas, scoring accurate hits on the caves, which are used by the armed bandits to shield themselves from air strikes”, he said.
Meanwhile, the coordinator earlier said the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole has knocked out an Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) logistics base and killed several of their fighters in air strikes conducted at Tumbun Rego on the fringes of Lake Chad in Borno State.
He said the mission was on the heels of credible intelligence reports indicating that the location, with its makeshift structures camouflaged under dense vegetation, was being used by the terrorists as a hub for logistics items conveyed via the lake and its tributaries for onward transportation using trucks/ motorcycles.
“The Air Task Force therefore dispatched Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets and helicopter gunships to attack the location. Overhead the target area, significant number ISWAP elements were observed.
“These were engaged in successive passes by the NAF attack aircraft resulting in the destruction of the terrorists’ structures as well as the neutralization of several of their fighters”, Enenche said.
commended the troops and other security agencies for their professionalism and urged them to remain resolute in order to eradicate all armed bandits and terrorists.
He also urged citizens within the affected areas to promptly report any persons with suspicious injuries to the nearest security or law enforcement agency post.