From: Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), has said it has inflicted heavy casualties on the Boko haram group after its troops along side soldiers of the Nigerian army bombarded the terrorists strongholds in Sambisa general area.
Director public relations and information Air Vice Marshall Adetokunbo Adesanya, who made this known in a statement, said many terrorists were killed in the renewed combined clearance operation, which began on January 3,2018, following the discovery of Boko Haram terrorists locations in the forest.
Adesanya, said that While the Air Task Force of the Operation Lafiya Dole dropped series of bombs on the Boko Haram gathering during conduct of air interdiction in the Nigerian Army troops on which coordinated the ground operation on the other hand,released several rockets launched from the its Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher, most of which,it was gathered, landed on the insurgents, killing some of them and causing a few survivors to flee in disarray.
He said on the first day of the combined clearance operations, the Air Task Force conducted intensive bombardments on selected Boko Haram terrorists locations.
According to the statement, ”previous Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions by Nigerian Air Force (NAF) platforms had revealed the presence of BHT in Njimia in the Sambisa general area, from where the insurgents launched attacks on own surface forces.”
”Accordingly, NAF fighter aircraft were detailed to attack the location and each of the aircraft took turns to attack structures occupied by BHT elements in the settlement. The air attacks set several Boko Haram terrorists structures ablaze and destroyed them,”it added.
The statement added that on the same day, the Air Task Force conducted air interdiction on another Boko Haram terrorists hideout near Camp Zairo following previous ISR on the location which had indicated the resurgence of the terrorist activities in the location, which had been previously liberated.
”Accordingly, structures occupied by Boko Haram terrorists elements in the location were attacked, in succession, by NAF fighter aircraft.
”The air strikes caused the destruction of more BHT structures and the neutralization of several insurgents. Some insurgents were sighted fleeing the area and they were taken out in subsequent follow-up attacks,”it further claimed.
According the statement by Adesanya,”later in the evening of the same day, the Air Task Force scrambled two fighter aircraft and one helicopter to support own surface forces that had come under Boko Haram terrorists attack at Tokombere, 12km southwest of Camp Zairo.
” The NAF aircraft supported the troops in repelling the attack, causing the insurgents to withdraw to the northeast of Tokombere. Consequently, at about 11pm, the Air Task Force detailed another helicopter to conduct air interdiction on the insurgents’ new location.
” The Battle Damage Assessment from a NAF ISR platform indicated that the helicopter successfully dropped its weapons on the insurgents’ position, killing many and causing some survivors to flee.
” Consequently, the ISR platform tracked the fleeing insurgents to another location and later coordinated the NA artillery bombardment of the insurgents’ new location.
” Several rockets were launched from the NA’s Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher, most of which landed on the insurgents, killing some of them and causing a few survivors to flee in disarray,”the statement further said.
It explained that the ongoing combined clearance operations by the Nigerian Air Force and the Nigerian Army elements were aimed at preventing the full-scale resurgence of Boko Haram terrorists in the Sambisa general area.