NAF Jets Kill 35 ISWAP Fighters in Borno


Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

Jet fighters of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) yesterday bombed a logistics support base of the Islamic State for West African Province (ISWAP) in Bukar Meram on the fringes of Lake Chad, killing 35 terrorists.

In the same vein, the Nigerian Army arrested two top commanders of terrorist group, Boko Haram, in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State.

The air interdiction followed intelligence reports that the location was used to provide logistics support for terrorists using fishing activities as a cover.

An update on the war against insurgency provided by NAF Spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Dramaola, said an attack aircraft was subsequently deployed to bombard the insurgents in repeated strikes.

He said the air strikes decimated many ISWAP fighters and destroyed structures at the location.

“In continuation of the sustained onslaught against terrorist elements in the North-east of the country, the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation Lafiya Dole has neutralised several Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters at Bukar Meram on the fringes of Lake Chad in the northern part of Borno State.

“The operation was executed yesterday based on credible intelligence reports that indicated a resumption of the use of the location to provide logistics support to the terrorists, using fishing activities as a cover. Accordingly, the ATF dispatched its attack aircraft to engage designated areas within the settlement”, he said.

The update showed that “before the strikes, over 35 terrorists were observed within the area of interest. The attack aircraft subsequently engaged the location in successive passes recording accurate hits on the target area, leading to the neutralisation of several ISWAP fighters as well as the destruction of some of the structures.

“The NAF, operating in concert with surface forces, will sustain its efforts to completely destroy all remnants of the terrorists in the North-east”.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army said it arrested two top commanders of Boko Haram. It said the duo of Lawan Abubakar Umar Garliga and Bayaga Manye were on the Army’s most wanted list of terrorists on serial number 41 and 90 respectively.

The war update by the army said 16 other terrorists were also arrested during a sting operation conducted by the combined troops of 26 Task Force Brigade, 21 Special Amoured Brigade and members of the Civilian Joint Task Force.

The update issued by the Media Coordinator, Nigerian Army Operations, Col. Aminu ILiyasu, said investigations revealed that some of the suspects were involved in the barbaric execution of some Nigeria Police personnel.

“In yet another successful covert operation, the combined troops of 26 Task Force Brigade, 21 Special Armoured Brigade and elements of Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), while acting on a piece of intelligence, conducted a sting operation against some Boko Haram criminals hibernating around Pulka general area of Gwoza LGA, Borno State on October 20, 2019.

“The operation led to the arrest of 16 active Boko Haram members. Preliminary investigation reveals that some of the arrested suspects participated in the heinous attack on Pulka and Gwoza including the barbaric execution of some Nigeria Police personnel sometime ago,” it said.

The statement said “two of the arrested Boko Haram criminals have been on the Nigerian Army most wanted Boko Haram list earlier published on Serials 41 and 90. The arrested suspects are: Lawan Abubakar Umar Garliga and Bayaga Manye (on serial 41 and 90 respectively of the Nigerian Army most wanted Boko Haram list.”

Other logistics suppliers arrested include “Alhaji Umaru, Goni Agwala, Momodu Shetene, Hassan Audu, Usman Manye AKA Yega, Ali Lawan and Modu Mallum. Others include Modu Abubakar Jugudum, Bulama Ali, Umar Usman, Mustapha Alhaji Mele, Abor Lassan, Mallum Ari and Mala Bala.

It said the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai commended the Theatre Commander Operation Lafiya Dole, Major Gen Olusegun Adeniyi as well as the officers and men for the commendable feat in service of their fatherland.

He also enjoined them to continue to sustain the pressure on the criminals and ensure that the insurgents and their collaborators are denied space to operate.