10 bandits in Sububu Forest in the Shinkafi Local Government Area of Zamfara state have been killed during Operation Diran Mikiya by the Alpha Jets of the Nigerian Air Force, as the bandits attempted to shoot down the military aircraft. The NAF operation was coordinated by the Air Task Force on Monday with the help of the troops of the Nigerian Army in Sector 7, Operation Sharan Daji.
According to the Air Force, two Alpha Jets and an attack helicopter were deployed in the forest area upon receipt of intelligence that bandits had gathered in Sububu and Dumburum forests and were planning attacks. NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, said in a statement that one of the Alpha Jets spotted a group of bandits who fired at the aircraft while running for cover. He also said, “The Air Task Force for Operation Diran Mikiya has neutralised no fewer than 10 bandits at the Sububu Forest area. The ATF responded to a request for close air support by the ground troops of Sector 7 of Operation Sharan Daji, who came in contact with the bandits in Shinkafi.
“Accordingly, the ATF dispatched two Alpha Jets and an attack helicopter to conduct armed reconnaissance over identified locations. At Sububu Forest, one of the Alpha Jets spotted a group of bandits, who fired at the aircraft, while running for cover. The Alpha Jet engaged the bandits, neutralising no fewer than 10 of them while others escaped with injuries. “The NAF, working in consonance with surface forces and other security agencies, will sustain its operations to flush the bandits out of the North-West region.”
Meanwhile, NAF disclosed late on Monday that it had taken delivery of two Agusta 109 power attack helicopters, which were being assembled for induction. The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, stated this in Maiduguri, Borno State during a luncheon to mark Easter with troops of the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole. Abubakar said NAF, with the support of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, as well as the National Assembly, would “continue to acquire new platforms and build human capacity to respond to national security imperatives.”
The air chief said, “So much is at stake in the fight to rid the country of insurgents, terrorists, bandits and other criminal elements. We must remain resolute while intensifying efforts and maintaining continuous vigilance to defend the liberties and values of our country. “The delivery of the two Agusta 109 power attack helicopters is a testimony of the immense support from the Commander-in-Chief. The NAF, working in concert with sister services and other security agencies, will sustain its operations, not only in the North-East but also in the North-West, in order to ensure that Nigerians are able to pursue their legitimate aspirations, without fear.”