Report from the Nigerian Air Force says the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE, has destroyed a Boko Haram hideout in Borno State. The report didn’t mention the number of terrorists that were killed, but confirmed that many of members of the deadly group were victims of the Air Force strike which was carried out at Kaicungul, a settlement about 100Km North West of Monguno, in Northern Borno.
NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, who disclosed this in a statement on Saturday in Abuja, said the operation was carried out on Friday, The Sun reported.
“The operation was conducted on Jan. 25, on the heels of credible intelligence indicating that the village was being used as a staging area from where the terrorists assembled to launch attacks against our troops’ locations.
“The ATF therefore detailed an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform for confirmatory surveillance of the location, which observed significant terrorists’ activities in the settlement.
“Accordingly, two Alpha Jet aircraft were scrambled to attack the hideout.
“The two aircraft took turns in attacking the location, recording successful hits on the target, leading to the destruction of some of the structures as well as the neutralisation of some terrorists,” Daramola said.
Founded by Mohammed Yusuf in 2002, Boko Haram has been led by Abubakar Shekau since 2009. When Boko Haram first formed, their actions were nonviolent. Their main goal was to “purify Islam in northern Nigeria.” From March 2015 to August 2016, the group was aligned with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Since the current insurgency started in 2009, Boko Haram has killed tens of thousands and displaced 2.3 million from their homes and was ranked as the world’s deadliest terror group by the Global Terrorism Index in 2015.
After its founding in 2002, Boko Haram’s increasing radicalisation led to a violent uprising in July 2009 in which its leader was summarily executed. Its unexpected resurgence, following a mass prison break in September 2010, was accompanied by increasingly sophisticated attacks, initially against soft targets, but progressing in 2011 to include suicide bombings of police buildings and the United Nations office in Abuja.
The government’s establishment of a state of emergency at the beginning of 2012, extended in the following year to cover the entire northeast of Nigeria, led to an increase in both security force abuses and militant attacks.
The activities of the group have led to the killings of thousands of people, while its recent attacks in the North East ahead of 2019 general elections is alarming.