Airstrikes conducted by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) jets have killed 24 Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists undergoing training for Improvised Explosive Device (IED) production in the Lake Chad region.
The airstrikes took place on Sunday, at Tumbun Hamma, one of the identified locations for ISWAP training camps in Lake Chad.
According to a senior military source, the terrorists were undergoing weapon handling and IED training at the location for six consecutive days.
In another development, a NAF aircraft under the Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK) also carried out series of airstrikes on terrorists’ locations in the Tumbuns near Lake Chad.
The source said the airstrikes were part of retaliatory operations on terrorists after their attempted attack on a Nigerian Army location in Mallam Fatori in Borno State.
According to a military source, intelligence had revealed that terrorists were infiltrating into Mallam Fatori from Tumbun Fulani, and they had with them four guntrucks, several support weapons, and other technicals.
“Intelligence revealed that indeed the terrorists were infiltrating into Mallam Fatori from Tumbun Fulani and they had with them 4 guntrucks, several support weapons and other technicals.
“Hence the need for an air interdiction mission to degrade and disrupt their activities.
“Accordingly, the strikes on Tumbun Fulani led to the destruction of 3 of the gun trucks hidden under trees with several terrorists scampering towards 6 boats on the shores of the Lake Chad eliminated as well, thereby degrading their ability to attack own forces.
“Similar strikes were conducted on the 27 November 2022 on another terrorists’ location at Tumbun Hamma, one of the identified locations for ISWAP training camps in the Lake Chad Region.
“There, about 24 ISWAP terrorists, who were observed to be undergoing weapon handling and Improvised Explosive Devise (IED) training at the location for 6 consecutive days were struck by NAF aircraft. The effect of the strike was adjudged very successful and led to degrading of the threats posed by the terrorists,” he said.
NAF spokesman, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, who confirmed the airstrikes, declined further comments on details.
He, however, said “the efforts of the NAF in protecting NA locations within the Joint Theatres of Operation is a positive development and indicative of the high level of cooperation and synergy currently being observed among the various security agencies. This bodes well for the entire nation and gives Nigerians a sense of pride and confidence that as long as the security agencies continue to work together, the risks posed by enemies of the State will be greatly curtailed and minimized.”