The Nigerian Air Force has said two terrorist kingpins were killed during air interdictions carried out by the air component of Operation Hadin Kai at the Bama Local Government Area of Borno State.
The Air Force gave the names of the terrorist kingpins as Khaids Tukur and Bakura Jega, adding that over a hundred terrorists were also killed during the air raid.
In a statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet said the air raid was conducted after it was discovered that the commanders had placed their foot soldiers at strategic positions in the area.
The statement was titled, ‘Terrorists kingpins Khaids Abba Tukur, Bakura Jega, others confirmed neutralised in Air strikes as COAS and CAS fete troops in Maiduguri’.
It partly read, “Following an airstrike conducted by the Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai on 20 December 2022 at Mantari in Gezuwa area of Bama Local Government Area of Borno State, it has now been confirmed that several terrorists including Khaids Abbah Tukur, Maimusari, Bakura Jega, and several others were eliminated in the strike.
“The information was received just as the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao arrived Maiduguri earlier today, 25 December 2022 to celebrate the yuletide with frontline troops.
“The air strike was authorised after it was discovered that a Boko Haram terrorist commander simply known as Ikirima, had stationed his fighters and gun trucks at Mantari village, alongside other terrorists from other locations who had converged at the same location arrived with motorcycles and bicycles.
“Subsequently, the authorisation for an air strike was given leading to the elimination of several of the terrorists and structures in the area.
“After the first wave of air strikes, some surviving terrorists found their way back to the same location to evacuate the bodies of those neutralised in the air strike.
“This thus provided an opportunity for a follow-up strike on the same location which has been confirmed very successful as over 100 terrorists were neutralised with dozens said to be in critical condition.
“There were also confirmed reports that ISWAP and Boko Haram elements had perfected plans to resume active hostilities in the wake of the yuletide and forthcoming general elections.
“The timely intelligence received on their plans especially their attempt to attack soft targets in Bama LGA thus helped in the successful air strikes which reduced their will to regroup and attack innocent citizens.
“There is no doubt that the progress and gains being made especially by the air and ground troops have greatly contained an upsurge of terrorists campaigns within the Northeast zone in recent times.
“Both air and ground troops have, however, been cautioned on the need to remain focused on the end state.”