Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
Air strikes conducted by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) yesterday killed 10 bandits at the Sububu Forest area in Zamfara State.
This is coming as the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Yusuf Buratai, has said the war against terrorism was a complex war that should not be left for the armed forces alone.
The air interdiction carried out by two NAF fighter jets and an attack helicopter, followed a request for close air support by ground troops of Sector 7 Area of Operation Sharan Daji who had come into contact with armed bandits in Shinkafi Local Government Area (LGA).
An update issued by NAF Spokesman, Air Commodore, Ibikunle Daramola, said the Alpha jets struck locations of the bandits around Sububu and Dumburum forests in Zamfara.
“Accordingly, the ATF dispatched two Alpha Jets and an attack helicopter to provide the needed support and also conduct armed reconnaissance over identified locations in Shinkafi LGA as well as Sububu and Dumburum forests and environs.
“At Sububu forest, one of the Alpha Jets spotted a group of armed bandits, who fired at the aircraft with their rifles, while running for cover.
“The Alpha Jets engaged the bandits, neutralisng no fewer than 10 of them while others escaped with injuries,” he said.
He said “NAF, working in consonance with surface forces and other security agencies, will sustain its operations to flush the bandits out of the North-west of the country”.
Meanwhile, Buratai has said the war against insurgency required concerted efforts.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of 1st quarter Conference/Combat Arms Training (CAT) week and 2nd Infantry Officers Conference held at Ihejirika Auditorium, Jaji Military Cantonment, the COAS said the Nigerian Army, with the efforts of the Infantry Corps and support from other military formations was able to deal decisively with Boko Haram insurgents in the North-eastern part of the country.
“Today, we have the full initiative and in collaboration with other sister agencies, we are pushing hard to ensure that we finally sanitised the northern Borno and our borders axis with Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
“We know they have plans but we are also planning to counter them and we will deploy maximum intelligence to capture those that are still remaining in the interland”, he said.
Buratai noted that “terrorism is a complex warfare which needs the involvement of every individual in the country, which if we are able to do, will contain the criminals. “It should not be left for the security personnel or governments at all levels, or the traditional rulers; it is a joint responsibility and we are all stakeholders”.
The army chief maintained that “these criminals are not coming from the blues. They live among us in the society. They go to the markets and buy food stuffs just like the rest of us.
“Some of them go to naming, marriage ceremonies and so on. It is our responsibility to make everybody aware, that we all have a role to play in bringing the activities of these criminal elements to an end”.
Commander, Infantry Corps, Major General Stevenson Olusegun Olabanji, in his welcome address, noted that despite the security challenges the country was faced with, the Nigerian Army under Buratai has received a boost in terms of infrastructural and human development in all its formations across the country, which has made it possible to deal decisively with Boko Haram terrorists and other insurgents.