The Nigeria Air Force (NAF) says it has destroyed an Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists’ hideout at Arrinna Ciki on the fringes of the Lake Chad in the Northern part of Borno State.
NAF’s Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, disclosed in a statement on Tuesday that the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation Lafiya Dole also killed some ISWAP fighters during the bombardment.
“This was accomplished through air strikes conducted on 1 and 2 November 2019, sequel to intelligence reports indicating that the terrorists were using the settlement as a staging area to launch attacks against own forces,” he said.
Daramola explained that the airstrike on November 1 was initiated when a NAF Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform, on a confirmatory reconnaissance mission, spotted some ISWAP vehicles under some trees in the area.
Accordingly, the ATF scrambled its fighter jets to attack the location, recording successful strikes to immobilise the vehicles.
The NAF spokesman revealed that a follow-up attack was executed the next day after significant activity was observed in another part of the settlement.
This, according to him, occasioned the detailing of attack aircraft to engage the identified areas, resulting in the destruction of some terrorists’ structures and the killing of some of their fighters.
“The NAF, operating in concert with surface forces, will sustain its efforts to completely destroy all remnants of the terrorists in the North-East,” the air commodore stated.
Four people were killed in northern Mozambique, witnesses said Sunday, in an attack they attributed to Islamic extremists operating in the region for the last two years.
The attackers staged the ambush on a lorry near the village of Mumu, in the province of Cabo Delgado, on Saturday, killing the driver and three passengers, said several witnesses contacted by AFP.
Several other people were injured in the attack.
The authorities, who rarely make statements on the unrest in the north of the country, neither confirmed nor denied the attack.
Villagers say a separate attack in the same region Thursday killed 10 people.
Since 2017 Cabo Delgado has suffered a wave of deadly attacks that has killed at least 300 civilians and forced tens of thousands to flee their homes.
The violence has been blamed on a jihadist organisation apparently intent on imposing Islamic Sharia law. The group is usually referred to Al-Shabaab, despite having no known link to the Somali jihadist group of the same name.
The government has deployed significant reinforcements to the province to counter the attacks, which have delayed the development of vast gas reserves discovered in 2010.
Suspected jihadists staged twin attacks Monday on two Malian military posts near the border with Burkina Faso, killing two civilians and burning 22 vehicles, local officials and the army said.
The camps at Mondoro and Boulkessy in central Mali “were attacked this morning… by terrorists”, the Malian armed forces said in a tweet.
“Armed jihadists came at night to Mondoro. They went to the command post of the camp… and fired. The army withdrew. The jihadists’ fire killed two civilians and wounded three,” a local official said.
“The assailants made off with two vans filled with ammunition, two camels and 12 cows,” the official added.
The other camp at Boulkessy — run by the Malian army and G5 Sahel, a five-nation joint taskforce created in 2014 to try to tackle jihadist violence in the region — was attacked by suspected members of the Ansarul Islam outfit, the G5 said in a statement.
They came on “several vehicles loaded with heavy arms and on motorbikes,” it said, without giving any casualty figures.
The attackers burnt 22 vehicles, nearly half of the automatic weapons in the camp and a large cache of ammunition, a military source said.
Northern Mali fell into the hands of jihadists in 2012 before the militants were forced out by a French-led military intervention.
But much of the region remains chronically unstable and jihadist-led violence has spread to the centre of the country, often sparking bloodshed between ethnic groups.
In addition to its own armed forces, the fragile country hosts France’s mission in the Sahel, UN peacekeeping troops as well as contingents from a five-nation anti-jihadist group.
Neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger have also been infiltrated by insurgents, at the cost of hundreds of lives.
The Nigerian Army says it has repelled a terrorist attack on two communities (Gubio and Magumeri) in Borno State.
According to a statement by the Deputy Director Army Public Relations, 7 Division, Ado Isa (Colonel), the terrorists had targeted the army who were deployed to the areas to enable them gain access to shops in the market so that they could loot food and other items.
The attack was, however, repelled by the troops and the terrorists were forced to withdraw from the town following a fierce gun battle.
In the process, some buildings and property were destroyed, while a vigilante lost his life.
China reacted furiously Wednesday to “terrorist-like” attacks on its citizens by pro-democracy protesters during the second day of mass disruptions at Hong Kong’s airport that turned violent.
The rallies, which had paralysed one of the world’s busiest travel hubs, ended with ugly clashes on Tuesday night that included protesters beating two men.
The Chinese government immediately seized on the attacks to louden its drumbeat of anger and intimidation against the protesters, who have staged 10 weeks of relentless rallies to demand greater freedoms.
“We express the strongest condemnation of these terrorist-like actions,” said Xu Luying, a spokeswoman at the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs of the State Council, who called the two men who were beaten “mainland China compatriots.”
It was the second time this week that China had sought to frame the protests as “terrorism”, part of a pattern of increasingly ominous warnings that have raised fears it may deploy force to quell the unrest.
China on Monday said there were signs of “terrorism emerging”, as state media published a video of armoured personnel carriers driving towards the border with Hong Kong.
US President Donald Trump added to fears Beijing may stage a military intervention to end the unrest, saying on Tuesday his intelligence had confirmed Chinese troop movements toward the Hong Kong border.
“I hope it works out for everybody including China. I hope it works out peacefully, nobody gets hurt, nobody gets killed,” Trump said.
The people power movement, which has seen millions take to Hong Kong’s streets, was sparked by opposition to a planned law that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China.
It quickly evolved into a much broader campaign for democratic freedoms.
Under a 1997 deal that saw Hong Kong return to China from British colonial rule, the city is meant to have far greater liberties than those allowed on the mainland.
The protesters, who are demanding that China’s rulers stop interfering in the city, have enjoyed widespread support throughout most sectors of Hong Kong’s society.
But the beating of the two men at the airport on Tuesday, as well as the blocking of passengers from boarding flights, could backfire in terms of maintaining support.
The movement has no public leaders, with protests organised anonymously over social media and chat apps.
One group, which has organised anonymous press conferences featuring protesters, sought Tuesday to address the concerns that the rallies at the airport had gone too far.
“After months of prolonged resistance, we are frightened, angry and exhausted. Some of us have become easily agitated and over-reacted last night,” the group said in a statement.
“For this we feel pained and dispirited and would like to express our most sincere apologies.”
Demonstrators turned on the two men, fuelled by suspicions within their ranks about undercover police or spies.
The first man was held for about two hours and assaulted before eventually being led away in an ambulance.
Riot police briefly deployed pepper spray and batons to beat back protesters while they escorted the vehicle away from the departures hall.
Another man, wearing a yellow journalist vest, was surrounded, zip-tied and then beaten by a small group who accused him of being a spy.
In a tweet, Hu Xijun, the editor of China’s state-controlled Global Times tabloid — which has vociferously condemned the protests — said the man was a journalist for the paper.
In another ugly scene, a group of protesters ganged up on a policeman and beat him. They stopped their attack when the policeman pulled his gun and pointed it at them, but did not fire.
On Wednesday there were only a handful of protesters at the airport and many flights were operating as scheduled.
Around a hundred demonstrators later gathered in the city’s working-class Sham Shui Po neighbourhood, shining lasers at a police station. Officers fired rounds of tear gas to disperse them.
As Hong Kong’s flag carrier Cathay Pacific comes under huge pressure from Beijing to clamp down on staff supportive of anti-government rallies, the airline said Wednesday it had sacked two pilots.
“One is currently involved in legal proceedings. The other misused company information on Flight CX216/12 August,” it said.
The airline said last week it had suspended a pilot accused of rioting after allegedly participating in protests.
It also said it had fired two ground staff, without specifying why, although local media reported that they were accused of leaking travel details of a Hong Kong police football team.
The city’s leader, Carrie Lam, warned Tuesday of dangerous consequences if escalating violence was not curbed and said the hub was being “pushed into an abyss.”
Troops of Operations Thunder Strike and Harbin Kunama III of the One Division of the Nigerian Army have killed five suspected armed bandits and arrested four others during an operation in Kaduna state.
The suspected armed bandits were killed by the troops during two separate operations in Chikun Local Government Area of the state.
A statement issued on Sunday by the spokesman of One Division, Colonel Ezindu Idima says two kidnap victims were rescued during the operation.
He also disclosed that a camp belonging to the bandits was also destroyed during another operation at Dagu Village in Igabi local government area, following credible intelligence information.
The Army spokesman further disclosed many dangerous weapons including one AK47 rifle, a single barrel rifle, one Dane gun and 28 rounds of special ammunition, two motorcycles, one camouflage uniform, two ATM cards, a Techno Phone, one Airtel Sim card and empty cases of 5 x 7.62mm special ammunitions were recovered from bandits.
He, however, appeals to the public to report anybody found with gunshot wounds to the nearest security post for investigation.
The statement read in part: “Troops of Operation Harbin Kunama III dislodged a bandits camp in Dagu village of Igabi local government on 24th July 2019 following credible information and during the operation, two bandits were neutralised and one was apprehended while others escaped with gunshot wounds.
“Troops also, rescued two kidnapped victims, Mallam Yakubu Hamidu and Alhaji Isa Saidu from the bandit’s den around Makarfi Farm junction in Igabi LGAsl on 25th July 2019 where two motorcycles belonging to the criminals were also destroyed during an exchange of fire.
“Following the operation, three bandits were neutralised, three were arrested and two kidnapped victims were also freed”.
The Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has destroyed additional terrorists’ structures and killed some Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters at Bakassi on the fringes of Lake Chad in Borno State in an air strike conducted yesterday, 6 July 2019.
The attack according to the Airforce spokesperson, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, was executed as a follow-up to air raids conducted at the same location on 28 June 2019, after intelligence reports indicated the ISWAP elements, having suffered heavy casualties during the attack, had relocated surviving fighters and logistics supplies to another part of the settlement, as confirmed by Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions.
The ATF, therefore, dispatched 2 Alpha Jets to attack the location, with accurate hits on the identified structures, which were seen engulfed in flames. Several terrorists were also killed as a result of the strike.
A short video clip which the force has now declassified shows parts of the attack.
Air Commodore Daramola in his statement assured that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), operating in concert with “surface forces”, will sustain the effort to completely degrade the terrorists in the Northeast.
Worried by the spate of terrorist and armed bandits’ attacks in some parts of the country, the Nigerian Air Force has commenced a training of its Special Forces.
About 175 special forces operatives graduated at the Regiment Training Centre at the Airforce base in Kaduna state after a successful 10-week rigorous and intensive training in asymmetric warfare.
Speaking during his visit to see the graduating students at their training camp, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar said the new trends of terrorism as well as the challenges presented by kidnapping and rural armed banditry across the country, necessitated the special training.
He also reiterated the commitment of the Air Force to collaborate with other security agencies, especially the Army to address the nation’s security challenges.
“From here where we are building capacity to protect our bases, we are also supporting and working very closely with other security forces, particularly the Nigerian Army, to ensure that we have a secured environment
“It’s not only war against terror, we have armed banditry, we have other criminals. Like I said, primarily we are to secure our bases and to secure our air assets. The secondary objective is to support the internal security operations all over the country.
“These men are graduating; another batch of officers are coming in now. And we have trained over 1,000 special forces in the last 4 years or thereabout,” he stated.
The Nigerian Army says it has uncovered a new plot by Boko Haram to win the confidence of the public by releasing rustled cattle to the owners unconditionally.
Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Operation LAFIYA DOLE, in a statement on Sunday, reported the Theater Commander, Maj.-Gen. Benson Akinroluyo, as disclosing that the insurgents deceived people by voluntarily returning cattle, hitherto rustled from the owners in the northeast.
According to Nwachukwu, the Commander raised the alarm while addressing troops of Sector 2 during a three-day operational tour conducted between Jan. 31 and February 2.
The statement read: “The Theatre Commander Operation LAFIYA DOLE Major General Benson Akinroluyo has uncovered the employment of deception by Boko Haram terrorists to win the confidence and support of locals in the North East. General Akinroluyo raised the alarm while addressing troops of Sector 2 Operation LAFIYA DOLE during a three-day operational tour of the sector’s area of responsibility that lasted from Thursday 31 January to Saturday 2 February 2019.
“The Theatre Commander disclosed further, that Boko Haram terrorists now engage in cattle rustling and later return the rustled cattle to their owners, thereby deceitfully creating the impression of ” the Good Samaritan” and presenting themselves as a “protector of the people”. He described the gimmick as a dangerous ploy that must be nipped in the bud before it spirals out of control. The Commander urged the troops to prevent any form of cattle rustling by the insurgents, as it is now being used as a means of psychological warfare to make the locals see them in a positive light and be receptive to their ideology.
“General Akinroluyo also called on all community and opinion leaders to educate members of their communities on the development, adding, that they must be vigilant and not fall for the wiles of the terrorists. He added, that while cattle rustling has been earlier identified as a means of raising funds for Boko Haram terrorists, another use for cattle rustling has been invented by the terrorists, which they carry out by first stealing the cattle and later returning same to their owners to make the locals believe they are pious and possibly turn blind eyes to the nefarious activities of the terrorists. He, therefore, urged the people of the North East, particularly the youth, not to be persuaded to join the terrorists’ group describing it as the enemy of the people.
“The Theatre Commander accompanied by the Commander Sector 2, Brigadier General Mohammed Dala also visited the troops in Nigerian Army Special Forces School and 27 Task Force Brigade both in Buni Yadi, as well as 159 and 233 Battalions in Geidam and Damaturu respectively, where he assured the troops that their operational challenges and welfare are getting adequate attention. He also paid a visit to in-patient troops undergoing medical treatment at the Sector 2 Field Ambulance.
“Speaking further during his address to the troops, General Akinroluyo charged them to remain professional and alive to their responsibilities in the onslaught against the insurgents, urging them to be resilient until the attainment of a decisive defeat.
Please disseminate this information to the general public through your medium.
Thank you for your kind cooperation.
ONYEMA NWACHUKWU Colonel Deputy Director of Public Relations Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE 3 February 2019”.
Troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole have killed four Boko Haram terrorists in Borno State.
The Deputy Director of Public Relations, 7 Division Nigerian Army, Colonel Ado Isa, revealed this in a statement on Friday.
He explained that troops of 7 Division of the Nigerian Army conducted a clearance operation on suspected Boko Haram Terrorists hideout along Makinta Meleri in Konduga Local Government Area of the state.
According to him, the soldiers recovered 4 AK-47 Rifles with registration numbers 58012289, 565240898 and 58006027, respectively during the clearance operation.
Other items also recovered included three Rifle Magazines containing 32 rounds of 7.62mm (special) ammunition and three bicycles.
In reaction, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, according to Colonel Isa, commended the troops for their doggedness.
Speaking through the acting General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the division and Commander Sector 1 Operation Lafiya Dole, Brig Gen Abdulmalik Bulama Biu, the COAS encouraged them to sustain the war against terrorism until the terrorists are flushed out and total peace and security are restored.