Air Strikes Decimate Insurgents, Destroy ISWAP Hideout, Says NAF 

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Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

In continuation of Operation Rattle Snake 3 launched against insurgents in the North-east, fighter Jets of the Nigerian Air Force yesterday  struck a hideout of the Islamic State for West African Province (ISWAP) in Kaza, Northern Borno State.

This comes as the Department of State Security (DSS) declared that there was neither movement of terrorists in the nation’s capital nor hijack of luxurious buses by insurgents as circulated on social media.

An update on the war against insurgency issued by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) said following credible intelligence on the movement of the terrorists from Tongule to Kaza where they set up in a cluster of compounds, two fighter jets were detailed to attack the hideout, killing many insurgents and destroying the structure housing the insurgents.

“In continuation of Operation Rattle Snake 3, the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation Lafiya Dole, has eliminated some Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists and destroyed compounds housing them at Kaza in the Northern part of Borno State. 

The air strike was executed on February 5, 2020 following credible intelligence reports indicating that some ISWAP elements, who relocated from nearby Tongule, had set up camp in a cluster of compounds at Kaza, along with their logistics supplies,” NAF said.

The update signed by NAF Spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola,  said: “The identified location within the settlement was attacked by the ATF’s fighter jets after confirmatory Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions showed significant presence of terrorists. 

“This resulted in the destruction of the structures and the neutralisation of some of the ISWAP fighters.” 

The update assured that “NAF, operating in concert with surface forces, will sustain its air campaign to shape the battlespace in the North-east for the effective conduct of further ground and air operations”.  Meanwhile, the DSS said contrary to reports of an alert allegedly issued by the service and circulated on social media, there was no movement of terrorists into Abuja.

It also denied that there was a hijack of  commercial buses belonging to three transport companies along Lokoja-Okene Road  by bandits. A statement signed by the Spokesman of DSS, Dr. Peter Afunanya, said the reports were unfounded.

“The alert purportedly issued by the service on the arrival of Boko Haram and other terrorist elements to the aforementioned places has been in circulation since 2013 when it was first created by mischief makers whose handiwork is to cause chaos. 

“Similarly, the report concerning alleged attack on the luxury buses conveying a particular ethnic group to their local base was first created some years back to deceive and incite unsuspecting persons”, he said.

Afunanya urged  the public to “disregard these fallacious narratives and reports in their entirety.  As fake news that they are, the DSS wishes to dismiss them as non-existent and therefore describe them as figment of the imagination of their creators. 

“Their illusive stories are merely designed by some zealots to instigate ethno-religious and political crises of violent and destructive dimensions across the country”.

He assured that the  service would continue to collaborate with sister agencies to ensure adequate protection for the people, government and critical infrastructure. 

He said trouble makers would be made to  face the consequences of their action and the full wrath of the law.