By Doris Esa
The Nigerian Air Force says the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has destroyed a Boko Haram vehicle and neutralised scores of the insurgents at Tumbun Rego on the fringes of Lake Chad in Borno.
Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, NAF Director of Public Relations and Information who disclosed this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, said that the operation was carried out on Wednesday.
“As Operation THUNDER STRIKE 2 entered the tenth day on Sept. 12, the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has recorded significant successes against Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT) in air raids conducted at Tumbun Rego on the fringes of Lake Chad in Borno State.
“The attacks were conducted in successive waves, involving Nigerian Air Force (NAF) F-7Ni and Alpha Jet combat aircraft.
“As well as Mi-35M Helicopter Gunships supported by Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platforms, resulting in the destruction of a BHT vehicle and neutralisation of scores of insurgents.
“Characteristic of the insurgents’ tactics, the BHT fighters were initially well camouflaged under foliage and inside abandoned buildings within the settlement.
“However, timely intelligence enabled the ISR platforms to track and locate one of the BHT vehicles as it was entering the settlement,” he said.
Daramola said that the vehicle was engaged and destroyed by the attack aircraft.
“Subsequent waves of attack targeted the scores of insurgents that emerged from their hiding places after the attack on the vehicle. These were engaged in turns by the attack aircraft and neutralised,” he said.
In another development, Daramola said the ATF conducted several ISR and Close Air Support missions throughout the night of Sept. 12 and early morning of Sept.13, in support of troops of the 145 Nigerian Army Battalion, ensuring that the BHTs’ attack at Damasak was thwarted.
He said the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, was in Maiduguri Sept.13 to again assess progress of the operation as well as boost the morale of the front-line troops.
The NAF spokesman said Abubakar seized the opportunity to commend the Command and personnel of the ATF for their efforts.
He said the CAS also urged them to sustain the momentum of operations with a view to locating and destroying all remnants of the insurgents within the fringes of Lake Chad and other areas in Northern Borno.
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