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Speculations trail missing Alpha fighter jet as NAF debunks Boko Haram’s claim of shooting it down

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Fighter jet

Following reports of the missing Alpha fighter jet of the Nigerian Air Force, several speculations have trailed the development.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that the fighter jet has been found at Abba-Jille in Konduga LGA of Borno State, which is said to be approximately 30Km from Maiduguri city.

“The fighter jet was seen flying around Goni Kurmiri and Njimia villages after attacking terrorist locations at the Sambisa axis,” PR Nigeria reports.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Air Force has also dismissed claims by Boko Haram that it gunned down the missing Alpha jet, which disappeared from radar on Wednesday, March 31.

In a viral video, the terrorists claimed responsibility for shooting the aircraft down.

However, the Director of Public Relations and Information Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, said the viral video could be clips from a previous incident.

He insisted the video is fraught with inconsistencies that established it was fake, adding the lush vegetation in one of the videos suggest it was not in the Northeast.

Air Commodore Gabkwet, in a statement, said:

“The attention of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has been drawn to some videos being circulated on Social Media, as well as media reports drawn therefrom, alleging that the NAF Alpha Jet aircraft, which was reported missing in Borno State on 31 March 2021 after losing radar contact, was shot down by terrorists. One of such videos, in particular, began with sporadic shooting by several terrorists, including underaged children on motorcycles and vehicles. It later skipped abruptly to a scene depicting an aircraft exploding mid-air, supposedly as a result of enemy action. Another part of the video showed a terrorist, who, while standing by the wreckage, claimed that they had shot down the NAF aircraft.

“Although the video is still being thoroughly analysed, it is evident that most parts of the video were deliberately doctored to give a false impression that the aircraft was shot down. For instance, the video clip failed to show the correlation between the sporadic shooting, which even from casual observation was obviously aimed at ground targets, and the sudden mid-air aircraft explosion. In addition, it is almost impossible for an aircraft to have exploded mid-air, in the manner depicted in the video, and still have a good part of its fuselage, including its tail, intact. Indeed, an explosive impact of that nature would have scattered the debris of the aircraft across several miles.

“It is obvious that the Boko Haram Sect, in its characteristic manner of employing false propaganda, is seeking to claim credit for what was obviously an air accident that could have been caused by several other reasons; particularly at a time when the capability of the group to inflict mayhem has been significantly degraded by the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

“Consequently, Nigerians are please advised to ignore the contents of the videos making the rounds until all investigations as to how the aircraft crashed are completed. The NAF, on its part, remains resolute and will continue to work assiduously, in synergy with sister Services and other security agencies, to rid the North East of all terrorist elements.”

It would be recalled that Gabkwet reported that the plane lost contact with the radar on Wednesday evening.

He said the plane lost contact with radar in Borno State, while on an interdiction mission in support of ground troops.

“The mission was part of the ongoing counterinsurgency operations in the North East.

“The loss of radar contact occurred at about 5:08 p.m. on 31 March 2021,” the spokesperson said.

 

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