By Odimmegwa Johnpeter/Abuja
Some notable armed bandit leaders and several of their fighters have been neutralized in air strikes executed by the Air Component of Operation HADARIN DAJI in the Zamfara State section of the Kagara Forest. This was achieved on 9 July 2020 pursuant to Human Intelligence (HUMINT) reports indicating that some armed bandits had relocated with a large number of rustled livestock from the Sokoto State side of the Forest and set up camp in the Zamfara State portion of the Forest. Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions also later confirmed the exact location of the camp. Major General John Enenche Coordinator Defence Media Operations disclosed this in a statement.
The statement further noted that the Air Component dispatched Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets and helicopter gunships to engage the location. As the attack aircraft approached the camp, some of the bandits and their leaders were seen fleeing towards the surrounding bushes. Consequently, the attack aircraft struck the area of vegetation taking out several of the bandits. HUMINT sources later confirmed that 8 bandit leaders and no fewer than a dozen of their fighters were killed as a result of the strikes
It also stated that the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has commended the Air Component of Operation HADARIN DAJI for their professionalism and urged them to remain resolute in the conduct of air strikes whilst continuing to provide close air support for ongoing ground operations in order to eradicate all armed bandits; thus accomplishing the directives of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) to restore normalcy in the North-West and North-Central Zones of the Country.
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