Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says its Air Task Force (ATF) for Operation DIRAN MIKIYA, set up to combat banditry, has killed 20 bandits in Zamfara State.
NAF director of public relations and information Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, who made this known, said the NAF operation also destroyed the camp of a major kingpin, Alhaji Lawal, and killed his fighters near Rugu Forest in the state.
Daramola said that attack, which was executed on April 26, took place following intelligence reports indicating that the notorious kingpin was camping along with dozens of his fighters at a settlement about 4 km west of Rugu Forest, where he keeps his logistics supplies, coordinates operations and launches attacks against security forces as well as innocent civilians.
Daramola in the statement said:
“The Air Task Force (ATF) for Operation DIRAN MIKIYA has recorded a major success against armed bandits in Zamfara State by destroying the camp of a major kingpin, Alhaji Lawal, and neutralizing up to 20 of his fighters near Rugu Forest in Zamfara State. This was accomplished in a dawn attack executed on 26 April 2019 after credible intelligence indicated that the notorious kingpin was camped, along with dozens of his fighters, at a settlement about 4 Km West of Rugu Forest, where he keeps his logistics supplies, coordinates operations and launches attacks against security forces as well as innocent civilians.
“Consequently, following detailed confirmatory Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, the ATF dispatched one Alpha Jet and an attack helicopter to strike the camp. The Alpha Jet strikes recorded direct hits on the camp destroying the armed bandits’ structures, fuel storage containers, arms, explosives and other logistics supplies, which were seen engulfed in flames. The attack helicopter carried out mop-up attacks on the target. No fewer than 20 armed bandits were neutralized in the air strikes. The attached video clip, now declassified, shows parts of the attack which may be viewed by the general public.
“The NAF, working in consonance with surface forces and other security agencies, will sustain its operations to flush the bandits out of the Northwest of the country.”