The Nigerian air force has launched fresh strikes on Sambisa forest, a stronghold of the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno state. According to Dele Alonge, airforce’s director of public relations, the operation is geared towards chasing the militants from the forest, which became popular after the abduction of over 200 female students from Government Secondary School, Chibok, still in Borno in 2014. Alonge said fighter jets recently deployed to the north-east are being used for the operation.
“The Nigerian military in its resolution to incapacitate and further degrade the fighting spirit of Boko Haram Terrorist Group (BHT), has carried out several bombings and air strike missions in Sambisa forest,” the statement read. “The strike missions came after several weeks of tactical reconnaissance by the reconnaissance/ surveillance aircraft. “The air strikes carried out by F-7NI and Alpha Jet fighter aircraft, as well as attack helicopters have resulted in the degradation of the terrorist’s capabilities and destruction of some of their strong holds.
“Intelligence report revealed that as aftermath of the strike missions, the terrorists have been confined and their capabilities greatly reduced, thereby restricting their nefarious activities to small scale attacks and suicide bombings.
“The chief of air staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar assures all Nigerians that the air efforts would be sustained until the Boko Haram activities becomes a thing of the past.” President Muhammadu Buhari has given the military an ultimatum of three months to end insurgency.
On Friday, the service chiefs led by Babagana Monguno, the national security adviser, visited Borno to re-assess the ongoing military operation in the north-east. Buhari has relocated the military command centre to Maiduguri, capital of the state worst-hit by insurgency.