The Defence Headquarters says the air component of Operation Hadarin Daji has eliminated scores of bandits in an air attack on their camp in part of Kwiambana Forest in Zamfara State on July 10.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche disclosed this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.
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Enenche said the attack followed a discovery that a group of structures hidden under the dense forest vegetation served as hideouts for suspected Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) elements and fighters under the notorious armed bandit kingpin, Dogo Gede.
According to him, the Air Component, therefore, dispatched a force package of Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets and helicopter gunships to attack the location.
“The attack aircraft took turns in engaging the target causing damage to some structures in the camp and neutralizing scores of the criminals.
“Several bandits, who were seen attempting to flee on foot and on about 15 motorcycles, were mopped-up in follow on attacks by the helicopters.
“Intelligence sources later revealed that several of the bandits were neutralised and their motorcycles destroyed as a result of the air strikes.”
The statement quoted the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, as commending the Air Component of Operation HADARIN DAJI for their professionalism.
Abubakar urged them to remain resolute in the conduct of air strikes whilst continuing to provide close air support for ongoing ground operations in order to eradicate bandits.
“Furthermore, the Armed Forces of Nigeria sincerely appreciates the continued support and cooperation of all well-meaning Nigerians, as we keep up the tempo of our operations to defeat all enemies of our great nation.” (NAN)