By Kingsley Nwezeh
Military air strikes at the weekend struck a logistics base of terror group, Boko Haram, killing scores of terrorists in a hideout in two locations, notably, Kote Kura and Bulama Isamari, all in Borno State.
The air interdiction came as the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) conducted a joint Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), Special Forces (SF) and Air Police K-9 Simulation Exercise (JCSAEX) codenamed “Taimako Yazo,” at Rijana Village along Kaduna-Abuja A military update issued by the Directorate of Defence Media Operations (DDMO) said the air strikes were executed weekend employing appropriate force packages of fighter jets and helicopter gunships based on credible intelligence reports indicating that the Boko Haram terrorists had recently established camps at the two settlements where they stored their logistics items as well as plan and launch attacks.
“Overhead Kote Kura, a settlement in Bama area, the NAF attack aircraft engaged scores of terrorists observed in the target area, leading to the neutralisation of several of them as well as the destruction of structures and logistics stores, some of which were seen engulfed in flames.
“In the same vein, at Bulama Isamari, within the Timbuktu Traingle, the NAF aircraft took turns in engaging the target, scoring accurate hits, which equally resulted in the neutralisation of several terrorists”, it said.
Meanwhile, the NAF has conducted joint operations at Rijana Village along Kaduna-Abuja highway.
The exercise, code named “Taimako Yazo,” was aimed at simulating tactics, doctrine and synergy amongst first responders for effective CSAR operations of downed aircrew or other NAF personnel who have had to eject or abandon their aircraft in emergency situations.
Speaking during the exercise, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said the ability to rescue crew from hostile environments was particularly important as it could be adapted for anti-kidnapping operations as was recently done by the NAF in concert with other security agencies in the rescue of the kidnapped boys of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara in Katsina State.
Abubakar stated that the overall desire of the NAF is to ensure that personnel are trained and equipped to maintain high levels of combat readiness and operational effectiveness.
According to him, in a bid to better reposition the NAF Special Forces through robust capacity building for more effective response to the various security challenges bedeviling the country in the areas of counter-terrorism, airport security and anti-banditry operations, the NAF in 2019 conducted several counter-terrorism exercises in Kaduna, Kano, Niger and Osun States.
Also yesterday, Intersociety said 200 Christians were killed in Nigeria since December 15, 2020 by jihadists.
It said the slain Christians included those abducted on religious grounds and killed in captivity, including five abducted from Garkida in Adamawa State by ISWAP jihadists on Christmas eve and beheaded on December 29, 2020.
“Out of the about 200 Christian deaths, Boko Haram/ISWAP accounted for about 130 while jihadist Fulani herdsmen/Fulani bandits took responsibility for remaining 70 Christian deaths.
“In all these, the Nigerian security forces have not only continued to wobble and look the other side, but also become ‘alarmists’ by only “alerting Nigerians particularly Christians of imminent attacks after which they (security forces) slumber and do nothing”, a statement issued by the Head of the Organisation, Emeka Umeagbalasi, said.