The Nigerian Air Force, NAF, on Thursday said the air component operation of “Operation Lafiya Dole” hit a “mass gathering” of Boko Haram terrorists at Wulge area of Borno State.
The air component commander of the theatre operation, “Operation Lafiya Dole”, Isiaka Amao, said this while briefing journalists in Maiduguri on Thursday.
“The air component struck a mass gathering of Boko Haram terrorists and their leaders at Wulge.
“Report received after the strike was that it was a huge success as many terrorists were killed,” Mr. Amao said.
He said NAF also sighted and neutralised terrorists’ vehicles in Kunshe town.
The commander also said NAF destroyed Boko Haram’s logistics, vehicle workshop and a weapon storage facility after successful interdiction missions on their Sambisa forest hideout.
Mr. Amao, an air commodore, said NAF also destroyed a bomb-making factory in the forest.
“The air component has continued to intensify its air effort in support of the ground troops. In October, over 40 interdiction missions with over 80 per cent success were carried out.
“Just to mention a few, we have in the month degraded the terrorists’ logistics in the Sambisa forest,” he said.
Mr. Amao said the air force also destroyed two suspected terrorists’ camps in the forest.
“The continued air strikes have significantly degraded the capabilities of the terrorists.
“Likewise, two terrorist hideouts in Sambisa were destroyed,” he said.
Mr. Amao, however, announced that NAF lost one of its pilots, Ebitimi Owei, during the month.
“On a sad note, we lost a colleague, Flight Lt. Ebitimi Owei and a platform during one of the missions. May his gentle soul rest in peace,” he said.
Mr. Amao said the death of Mr. Owei would not affect the morale of officers engaged in the operation.
He said NAF also intercepted and destroyed a boat carrying fuel to the terrorists along Nigeria-Cameroon border.
“Other armed missions were carried out in Geidam, Gamboru, Ngala, Mafa, Kirenowa and Banki towns, among others.
“These missions were aimed at identifying and destroying opportunity targets and denying terrorists freedom of action,” the commander said.