The Defence Headquarters says the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation Lafiya Dole has launched airstrikes on terrorists’ locations at Bula Bello and Ngoske on the fringes of the Sambisa Forest in Borno.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche in a statement on Sunday said the airstrike destroyed Boko Haram terrorists’ facilities and killed several fighters.
Enenche said the recent success was a result of subsidiary Operation Long Reach being conducted in the push to end the activities of the terrorists in the North East.
He said the air interdiction missions were executed on June 18 and June 19 sequel to credible intelligence reports that revealed the presence of the terrorists in the area.
According to him, the terrorists used the closely linked settlements as staging points to launch attacks against friendly forces’ locations and surrounding civilian settlements.
“Accordingly, the Air Task Force dispatched a force package of Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets as well as an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft to engage the two locations.
“The NAF jets scored devastating hits in their multiple waves of attacks resulting in the obliteration of designated portions of the terrorists’ hideouts as well as the neutralization of several of their fighters.
“The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, commends the ATF for their dedication and professionalism.
“The Defence Headquarters equally urges them to intensify the air offensive against the terrorists and all other criminal elements threatening the peace and security of our beloved country,” he said.
The Coordinator also disclosed that the troops of Operation Hadarin Daji had recorded successes in the North-West theatre of operations to curtail the activities of bandits in Katsina and neighbouring states.
He stated that troops made contact with a large number of bandits on June 20 and killed several of them in the encounter, adding that troops were currently in pursuit of the fleeing bandits.
According to him, the troops destroyed five major bandits’ camps and recovered four empty magazines, 5 motorcycles, one bandolier and two pairs of military uniforms, among other items.
“Furthermore, six kidnap victims were rescued by troops while 21 suspected bandits’ collaborators were arrested during the operation.
“On the same day, troops also conducted an aggressive clearance operation to identified bandits’ enclaves at Biyaka, Randa, Ruma, Garin Inu, Shekewa, Gurbin Tsauni and Garin Buda villages, all in Batsari Local Government Area.
“The gallant troops, cleared suspected bandits hideouts, neutralizing one bandit while several others fled with gunshot wounds.
“Troops recovered one dane gun and four mobile phones, amongst other items,” he said.
Enenche further disclosed that the Nigerian Airforce helicopter gunships on June 19, conducted precision airstrikes on identified bandits’ hideouts at Munhaye and Keta in Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara.
He said the gunships recorded accurate hits on the bandits’ locations, killing scores of bandits in the process while others fled into the surrounding bush.
According to him, the ground troops in blocking position equally engaged the bandits, inflicting further casualty while several suspected rustled livestock were recovered from the surrounding area.
“The animals were subsequently handed over to appropriate quarters for identification and hand over to their owners.
“The [ High Command congratulates the troops for this notable feat and urges them to remain committed and sustain the onslaught against the criminals,” he said.