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Air Strikes Hit Terrorists’ Hospitals in Sambisa Forest
Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
Air strikes conducted by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) under the Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai struck a target known as Somalia in Sambisa Forest suspected to be a terrorist hospital and health care facility.
The air interdiction carried out on September 9, 2022, followed credible intelligence on the location of the insurgents.
Somalia, a location near Sambisa Forest, was believed to be where the terrorists have a medical facility, where wounded fighters as well as those critically ill were treated.
A war update issued by military authorities said after the air strikes, several structures were observed destroyed and numerous terrorists neutralised.
Air interdiction missions were also carried out at Abdallari, a terrorist enclave located in the North-east of Maiduguri on September 10, 2022. Several terrorists were further neutralised and structures destroyed after the strike, hence degrading their capacity to attack troops.
In Niger and Kaduna States, the Air Component of Operation Whirl Punch sustained the onslaught against the terrorists’ hideouts and safe havens to decimate, degrade and deny them freedom of action.
The update said air strikes were undertaken in Kaduna on September 7, 2022, following series of intelligence from various sources on terrorists’ hideouts at Gidan Waya, in Chikun Local Government Area (LGA).
“There, the air component of Operation Whirl Punch discovered terrorists’ structures hidden under clusters of trees at the location with terrorists’ activities noticed within the vicinity.
“Subsequently, the targets were acquired and attacked with bombs. Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR) footages and feedback from locals as well as Nigerian Army troops deployment within the location revealed that the terrorists’ hideouts were destroyed while several terrorists were neutralised or suffered varying degrees of injuries,” it said.
It said air operations were also carried out on September 8, 2022, at Gaude, a terrorists’ hideouts at Shiroro Local Government Area after series of intelligence confirmed that terrorists usually gathered at the location for planning of their nefarious activities.
Intelligence also disclosed that most attacks around Shiroro axis were mostly being orchestrated from Gaude and Kurebe. Consequently, the target was acquired with several terrorists observed at the location. Sources revealed that the hideouts were destroyed while scores of terrorists feared killed.
Similarly, the Air Component of Operation Hadarin Daji (OPHD) sustained its onslaught against terrorists’ locations in the North-west region.
“These has led to the decimation of large numbers of terrorists led by a terrorist kingpin simply known Babaru at Gidan Guga axis in Faskari LGA of Katsina State. Intelligence had revealed that the Babaru-led had reportedly dislodged the locals from the village and occupied it.
“Accordingly, ISR aircraft of the Air Component on September 9, 2022, were dispatched for confirmatory ISR and subsequent BDA over the location. Overhead the location, several terrorists were sighted within the buildings with lots of human activities. Consequently, the location was struck with bombs, rockets and cannons,” it said.
In Katsina State, similar operations were also conducted same day as the air component of Operation Hadarin Daji decimated scores of terrorists at Kawari axis in Dan Musa LGA.
It said the air strikes became expedient after intelligence revealed plans by terrorists to plant improvised Explosive Devices (IED) for troops deployed at Dunya Village and along Dunya – Maidabino road in Dan Musa LGA of Katsina State.
The intelligence further revealed that the terrorists were based in the West of Kawari village.
“Consequently, the strikes were authourised. The battle damage assessment later revealed the location in flame with few surviving terrorists seen fleeing. Reports from several sources revealed that scores of terrorists were killed in the attack. Air and ground operations in all the theatres is crucial towards minimising to a large extent the ability of the terrorists to pick on soft targets anywhere in the country. This is because the various locations or enclaves have continued to serve as their staging and recruiting points,” it said.
When contacted, NAF spokesperson, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, confirmed the strikes in all the operating theatres and stated that, “for the NAF, its ability to continually dominate troubled parts of the country in collaboration with the surface forces in order to eliminate terrorist elements and restore normalcy should never be in doubt.”
He enjoined Nigerians to continue to provide security agencies with credible intelligence that will enable the agencies track and neutralise the terrorists and all criminal elements especially, as schools across the nation prepare to resume.