The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has said the Air Task Force of “ Operation “Lafiya Dole” has been conducting successful massive day and night attacks against remnants of Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) and their facilities, near Arra in Borno.
Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, disclosed this in a statement on Monday in Abuja.
Daramola explained that the attacks, which were preceded by days of intensive Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, were planned and executed based on credible intelligence indicating that the BHTs were making moves to regroup around the fringes of Sambisa.
“The first air strike was a daytime mission executed on Aug.10 at a location 4.5 Km Northwest of Arra around the fringes of Sambisa, where ISR had confirmed that BHTs were regrouping to launch attacks against our troops in the general area.
“Accordingly, the ATF detailed an Alpha Jet to attack the location. Overhead the area of interest, the Alpha Jet acquired and engaged targets, destroying parts of the settlement and neutralizing several BHTs.
“Intelligence reports later revealed that some of the surviving BHTs had converged at another location 4.8Km West of Arra.
“Consequently, the ATF deployed Mi-35M helicopter gunships for a night attack on the new location on Aug. 18 resulting in the death of dozens of BHTs,” he said.
Meanwhile, this is as no fewer than 19 people were reportedly killed in Boko Haram attack on a village in the early hours of Sunday, a survivor of the attack said.
The militants were said to have attacked the village of Mailari in the Guzamala region of Borno State at around 2 a.m., according to the survivor, Abatcha Umar.
Umar said he had counted 19 people killed, including his younger brother.
An aid worker at a camp that received the survivors, and who declined to be identified, put the death toll at 63.
The Islamist militants had been spotted around the village three days before their attack, said Umar. Locals had warned Nigerian troops stationed in the nearby town of Gudumbali, but no action was taken, he said.
The aid worker said hundreds of people from villages in the area had fled to the camp for displaced people where he worked in Monguno.