The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says it has intensified the bombardment of armed bandits’ hideouts in Zamfara State and its environs.
NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, disclosed in a statement on Thursday, saying the offensive was carried out by the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation Diran Mikiya.
According to him, the air strikes were preceded by days of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, initiated based on credible human intelligence reports.
The NAF spokesman revealed that this led to the identification of several camps being used by the bandits to launch attacks on innocent civilians.
He said, “One of the air interdiction missions was conducted at dawn today, 7 February 2019, at a location in Rugu Forest South of Gurbin Baure, where some armed bandits were seen assembled by a logistics truck parked near their compound-hideout.
“The ATF dispatched a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) attack helicopter and an Alpha Jet to engage the bandits’ truck and compound. Overhead the target area, the bandits were seen dispersing in different directions with some attempting to make a getaway in the truck.
“The helicopter strafed the moving truck in successive passes immobilising it and neutralising its occupants.
“The Alpha Jet simultaneously attacked the compound and destroyed one of the huts harbouring the bandits, which was seen engulfed in flames.
“Credible Intelligence sources later revealed that several bandits were killed as a result of the attack.”
The air commodore said NAF would sustain its investigation and air interdiction missions to neutralise the armed bandits and deny them freedom of action in the area.