Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Defence Headquarters has stated that the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has bombarded a residential and training ground occupied by Boko Haram, killing scores of its fighters at Garin Maloma on the fringes of the Sambisa Forest in Borno State
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations Major General John Enenche, who made the disclosure on Thursday said:
‘The Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has destroyed a compound housing some High-Value Boko Haram Terrorist (BHT) leaders and neutralized some of their fighters at Garin Maloma on the fringes of the Sambisa Forest in Borno State. This was achieved through massive air strikes executed to mark the launch of Operation LONG REACH, a new subsidiary operation in the theatre, which commenced on 16 June 2020.
‘The attack at Garin Maloma, a major node in the BHT’s line of communication in the Sambisa Forest axis, was undertaken based on credible intelligence reports as well as days of surveillance missions indicating that the terrorists had begun using one of the compounds in the settlement for accommodation and training of their fighters.
‘Accordingly, the ATF dispatched an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft and fighter jets to attack the location. Overhead the target area, many BHT fighters were observed in the vicinity of the settlement, with a few around the solar panel-mounted, High-Value Target (HVT) location. The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets engaged the location in successive waves of attacks leading to significant damage to numerous structures as well as killing of several terrorists. Some terrorists, who survived the first few waves and converged around the rubble near the damaged HVT compound, were taken out in subsequent follow-on attacks.
‘The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who was in Maiduguri to flag-off Operation LONG REACH commends the Air Task Force, directing them to intensify the air offensive against the terrorists and all other enemies of our Great Nation.’