File: Air strikes by Nigerian Air Force

By Johnson Eyiangho

The Defence Headquarters says the Air component of Operation Thunder Strike has neutralised several armed bandits at Chikwale Forest in the Mangoro area of Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, Coordinator Defence Media Operations, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.

Enenche said the operation was conducted on Saturday following credible intelligence reports indicating the significant presence of bandits in the area, about 20km West of the Kaduna-Abuja Highway.

”Accordingly, after series of confirmatory aerial surveillance missions, the Air Component dispatched an appropriate force package of Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets and helicopter gunships to attack the location.

”Overhead the target area, the NAF Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft spotted scores of bandits, mounted on motorcycles and dressed in black attire, heading towards Niger State.

“The attack aircraft, therefore, took turns in engaging the bandits, who were seen firing at the attack helicopter as it strafed them,” he said.

The coordinator said many of the bandits were neutralsed in the strikes, while some escaped with various degrees of injuries.

He added that aerial surveillance missions were been intensified, in coordination with ground troops, to locate the fleeing bandits.