No fewer than 30 terrorists have been killed by airstrikes by a Nigerian Military fighter jet in Zamfara State, PRNigeria reports.
The terrorists, according to checks by our newspaper, are criminals working for one Halilu, a notorious bandit in the North West.
Halilu, who is a high-profile arms trafficker responsible for supply of arms to all other terrorists in Zamfara and Katsina States, is also known to usually operate around Sububu, Anka (Bayan Daji) and Bayan Ruwa axis in Zamfara.
He is also said to be the wealthiest terrorist operating in Zamfara, and believed to be responsible for several kidnappings, cattle rustling and other terrorist activities.
The massacre of Halilu’s gang members followed a credible intelligence, which revealed that he (Halilu) had scheduled an early-morning meeting with some of his foot soldiers at his logistics base in Maradun Local Government Area of the State.
A senior military officer told PRNigeria that the intelligence had also revealed the location and exact position of Halilu’s logistic base, where he and his cohorts usually store their ammunition, vehicles, motorcycles, and other ill-gotten loots.
He said: “After days and weeks of sustained Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance missions over the 2 locations and verifying the intelligence to be credible, NAF aircraft were, in the early hours of 21 October 2022, scrambled to strike the location of the meeting and the logistics base.
“Both locations were thus simultaneously struck in several passes. Specifically, a huge fireball was observed by the pilots after the strike on the logistics base, an indication that the location might have contained some inflammable substance.
“The Battle Damage Assessment revealed the meeting location and the logistic base to be destroyed. Feedback from locals also confirmed that several terrorists were eliminated as a result of the air strike on the meeting location, though it remains uncertain if Halilu was also killed in the strikes”.
In a related development, NAF aircraft under the Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai in Borno State eliminated scores of terrorists and destroyed their guntrucks in Tunbum Aliyu located in Southwest of Maiduguri.
Similarly, the Air Component also undertook air interdiction missions in terrorists’ enclaves in Abulum and Njibul both near Sambisa Forest where several terrorists were eliminated while others were injured or seen scampering for safety.
A senior NAF officer told PRNigeria that the efforts of the Air Components of Operations Hadarin Daji and Hadin Kai in liaison with other security agencies remains on course.
He said: Until the remnant of the terrorists moving from one enclave to another after coming under intense fire are eliminated, the intensity of the fire power emanating from NAF and other security elements will continue unabated,” the officer said.
Attempts to reach the NAF Spokesperson, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet for comments on the developments were abortive as his mobile phone could not be reached.