The Nigerian military has killed Boko Haram commanders and foot soldiers during a bombardment of enclaves in Katsina, Borno, and Zamfara States.
The Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigeria Air Force (NAF), Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, made this known in a statement on Sunday.
Gabwet said airstrikes were conducted between October 31 and November 1 and specifically targeted terrorists’ kingpins in the North West and North East regions of the country.
He stated that airstrikes by the air components of Operation Hadarin Daji in the North West and Operation Hadin Kai in the North East killed several terrorists and destroyed their enclaves.
In Katsina, Gabwet said an air interdiction was targeted at the camp of terrorist kingpin, Babaru, who was accused of killing over 100 residents in the Bakori LGA on February 2, 2023.
The Air Force spokesman added that the airstrikes killed several terrorists in the operation, and Babaru’s camp was destroyed.
He said: “The preceding week has no doubt been eventful, especially for the air components of Operation Hadarin Daji in the North-West and Operation Hadin Kai in North-East Nigeria. Alongside the land component and other security agencies, aircraft under these operational theatres have ensured that terrorists and other criminal elements operating in the two regions do not constitute significant security threats to innocent citizens within the regions.
“In the North-West, the air component of OPHD on November 1, 2023, conducted a series of successful airstrikes in the Kankara LGA of Katsina State, targeting the hideout of a notorious terrorist kingpin, Babaru. Babaru has been implicated in numerous acts of terrorism and banditry across Kankara and adjacent LGAs in Katsina State.
“Notably, he was involved in the massacre of over 100 residents of Gidan Gari and Yarmai-Yadiya villages in Bakori LGA on February 2, 2023. The airstrikes destroyed Babaru’s hideout and eliminated several terrorists, though there was no confirmation if Babaru was among those neutralised.”
Gabwet also said the camp of another terrorist kingpin, identified as Mai Solar, in Zamfara, was destroyed, with several terrorists killed.
He added: “Airstrikes were also carried out at the enclave of a terrorist kingpin known as Mai Solar in the Maru LGA of Zamfara State. The airstrikes took out clusters of enclaves used as hideouts by the kingpin and his cohorts at the location. It was a successful strike, as few survivors were observed fleeing the scene of the strike. There is no confirmation if Mai Solar was among the terrorists eliminated.”
Gabkwet noted that in Borno, some terrorists converging for a meeting within the Mandara Mountains were killed, and the location was destroyed by airstrikes from the personnel of the service.
He said, “Precision airstrikes by the air component of Operation Hadin Kai, on November 3, 2023, also led to the elimination of several terrorists at their meeting point near Degbawa, a reclusive location within the Mandara Mountains in the Goza Local Government Area of Borno State.
“The air strikes were called for after intelligence revealed the sighting of some key terrorists’ figures and their foot soldiers arriving at the location for a probable meeting. Their gathering in large numbers raised concerns, thus necessitating the need for an air interdiction on the location, with a devastating outcome for the terrorists. An assessment of the location after the strike revealed several terrorists were indeed eliminated.
“According to several sources, the particular location was carefully chosen by the terrorists to evade being easily detected, especially by NAF aircraft. The outcome of the strike, however, proved the terrorists wrong, as their nefarious plans to meet were detected, thus leading to the success of the air strike.
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“The sources also noted that this strike was a major setback for the terrorists, who have, of late, been at the receiving end of the air and land components of OPHK. There were also strong indications that these terrorists were responsible for the recent attack on some locals in Geidam on October 31, 2023, and had planned to meet to review the attack as well as plan the next line of attack on innocent civilians and other vulnerable targets.”
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