After months of evading security forces, a notorious armed bandit, Alhaji Abdulkareem Lawal, and 27 others have been eliminated by aggressive bombardments of the Nigerian military airstrikes in Katsina State, on Saturday evening.
Abdulkareem Lawal, popularly called Abdulkareem Boss, by his criminal colleagues, it was gathered, was top on the wanted list of the Nigerian Military and other security agencies for a while.
Daily Sun further gathered that the precision airstrikes came barely a week after the Service Chiefs, at the last National Security Council meeting, reassured President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians that there would be a change in strategy and momentum in the fight against insurgency and terrorism, and the Chief of the Air Staff’s directive to Nigerian Air Force (NAF) operational and air component commanders to ‘show no mercy’ in decimating terrorists and insurgents in the country. The military, in its official bulletin, yesterday, said the wanted criminal was based in the Marina area of Safana Local Government Area, and was responsible for several terrorist attacks, animal rustling and kidnappings.
Boss was known to regularly invite terrorist groups from other areas and regions to join him in attacks on targets.
Specifically, he was part of the terrorist group that carried out attacks that eventually led to the death of the Nigerian Police Area Commander of Dutsin Ma on July 5, 2022.
Confirming the killing of Abdulkareem Boss, an intelligence military officer said that the terror kingpin was neutralised in a precision strike alongside 27 of his foot soldiers, at Rugu Forest.
Similar bombardments were said to have been conducted on terrorists’ hideouts around Abuja. Credible intelligence revealed that threats within Abuja were being orchestrated by terrorists from their hideouts within Kaduna, Niger and Zamfara States.
“In view of this, NAF aircraft under Operation Whirl Punch were dispatched to undertake intensive air interdiction operation to degrade/neutralise the terrorists within their identified hideouts in Giwa, Birnin Gwari, Kajuru and Chikun LGA in Kaduna State and Kusasu, Kwaki and Kukere LGA in Niger State.
“So far, the identified locations hit by NAF aircraft include Jan Birni, Kusasu, Kauwuri, Kwaki, Ukambo Hill within the Kwiambana Forest as well as Alhaji Chorki Location.
“These locations have been attacked decisively and were struck in successive passes until they went into flames, some casualties who were spotted to be struggling to scamper for safety were effectively mopped up,” a military air commander added.
The operations were aimed at forestalling them from further planning to cause mayhem within Kaduna and Niger States as well as surroundings around the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
When contacted on the latest developments, the Spokesperson of the Nigerian Airforce Air, Commodore Edward Gabkwet, said the successes of the air strikes underscored indefectible commitment of the military to rid the entire Northern region as well as the FCT of terrorism, in collaboration with other security agencies and restoring peace and sanity.
He added that “operational commanders have also been told to sustain the momentum and ensure they minimise, to the barest minimum, the freedom of movement of terrorists and insurgents.”