Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says that its Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has destroyed another Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) stronghold, which was located at Gashiga, Borno State.
The NAF airstrikes also killed terrorists at their hideouts in Tumbun Rego on the fringes of Lake Chad and at Bula Bello near the Sambisa Forest all in Borno State.
NAF Director of Public Relations and Information Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola said the operations were a response to Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions indicating that the terrorists were using the location as their staging area.
Daramola said in a statement:
“The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has destroyed an Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) staging area at Gashigar and as well taken out terrorists’ hideouts at Tumbun Rego on the fringes of Lake Chad and at Bula Bello near the Sambisa Forest all in Borno State. This was achieved in airstrikes conducted by the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE on 24 and 25 January 2020 on the heels of credible intelligence reports.
“The attack on Gashigar was executed on 25 January 2020 after Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions indicated that the location, with its defensive parapets and underground tunnels, was being used by the ISWAP elements as a staging area, where some of their leaders and fighters meet to plan and launch attacks. Accordingly, the ATF detailed its fighter aircraft to attack the identified location, destroying the structures, killing several terrorists in the process.
“Similarly, fighter jets were dispatched to attack Tumbun Rego and Bula Bello on 24 January 2020 after ISR aircraft detected significant activities in the 2 settlements. The attack aircraft effectively engaged the targeted locations equally destroying terrorist assets and neutralising several of their combatants. In all, scores of terrorists were neutralized in the 3 attacks, including some of their key leaders as later confirmed by Human Intelligence reports.
“The 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.”