The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says its Air Task Force (ATF) on Operation DIRAN MIKIYA has recorded successes in a renewed air offensive against bandits in Zamfara and its environs.
NAF Spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, who disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, said the operation was carried out on Monday.
“The air strikes, which were intensified on April 8, with the deployment of additional aircraft, are aimed at flushing out the bandits from their hideouts in Sububu, Rugu and Kagara Forests, amongst others, whilst ensuring the protection of the lives and properties of citizens in the North West of the Country.
“On the first day of the intensive operation, the ATF conducted coordinated air raids against multiple identified bandits’ hideouts at Doumborou, Sububu, West Malamawa, Baturia Pond and Rugu Forest, where several bandits were neutralised and their camps destroyed,” he said.
He said the ATF on April 9, conducted waves of attacks against several targets, adding that the first wave struck three bandits locations within Sububu forest as well as another camp in Kagara forest.
“Targets attacked in the second wave were notable armed bandits’ hideouts at Kamarawa, Kunduma and Tsamare hill, while the third wave focused on armed bandits hideouts in Doumborou.
“The ATF also provided close air support to surface forces of Sector 2 to enable them move into the attacked areas to mop-up the fleeing survivors and recover their weapons.
“In all, the ATF degraded eight camps and neutralised scores of bandits,” he said.
Daramola said reports indicated that, as a result of the air strikes, some of the bandits were fleeing towards the border between Nigeria and Niger Republic.
“Accordingly, the ATF is liaising with relevant authorities to ensure that the bandits are prevented from escaping through the Southern part of Niger Republic,” he said.
He said the NAF, in consonance with surface forces and other relevant authorities, would sustain its efforts to end the scourge of banditry and other related threats to life and safety in the North West of “our dear nation.”