Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
A Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jet yesterday struck a tactical command centre belonging to the terrorist group, Boko Haram, in Alafa near Sambisa Forest in Borno State.
The air interdiction came as the Nigerian Army said it had decimated nine members of the social media team of the Islamic State for West Africa (ISWAP).
An update on the ongoing war against insurgency issued by NAF Spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, said the air strike followed intelligence report that showed heavy presence of terrorists in what was identified as a tactical command centre.
“The operation, which led to the obliteration of a major tactical command centre, as well as the neutralisation of several terrorists, was executed after persistent Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, led to the identification of a compound within Alafa on the fringes of the Sambisa Forest that was being used by the terrorists as a command post. Accordingly, the ATF dispatched an Alpha Jet to attack the location.
“Overhead the vicinity of interest, the target compound was spotted with heavy presence of terrorists. The Alpha Jet attacked the location in successive passes scoring accurate hits on the target leading to the obliteration of the tactical command centre and neutralisation of several BHT fighters,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army said it killed nine members of ISWAP’s social media team.
An army statement on its twitter handle said the terrorist organisation confirmed the death of the team further reinforcing the position of the army that the group was in tatters.
“The so called Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) admits to the neutralisation of nine key media personalities by gallant troops of the Nigerian Army (NA).
“The terrorist group is known for its online media propaganda and quest to maintain a virtual caliphate,” it said.
It army said “the annihilation of members of its media team further confirms that the NA has decimated the group and they no longer have freedom of action”.
It displayed the photographs and names of the terrorists. They are Abu Hurayra al-Barnawi, Ali al-Ghalam al-Kajiri, Abu Musab and Muhammed Mustafa al-Maiduguri.
Others include Abu Abdullah Ali al-Barnawi Abu Musa al-Camerooni, Ahmed al-Muhajir,
Abu Ali al-Bamawi, and Abu Khubayb bin Ahmed al-Barnawi.