OPERATION THUNDER STRIKE 2: NAF NEUTRALIZES BOKO HARAM VEHICLE AND FIGHTERS IN TUMBUN REGO, PROVIDES AIR SUPPORT TO REPEL INSURGENT ATTACK AT DAMASAK

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As Operation THUNDER STRIKE 2 entered the tenth day, yesterday, 12 September 2018, the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has recorded significant successes against Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT) in air raids conducted at Tumbun Rego on the fringes of Lake Chad in Borno State. The attacks were conducted in successive waves, involving Nigerian Air Force (NAF) F-7Ni and Alpha Jet combat aircraft as well as Mi-35M Helicopter Gunships supported by Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platforms, resulting in the destruction of a BHT vehicle and neutralization of scores of insurgents.

Characteristic of the insurgents’ tactics, the BHT fighters were initially well camouflaged under foliage and inside abandoned buildings within the settlement. However, timely intelligence enabled the ISR platforms to track and locate one of the BHT vehicles as it was entering the settlement. The vehicle was engaged and destroyed by the attack aircraft. Subsequent waves of attack targeted the scores of insurgents that emerged from their hiding places after the attack on the vehicle. These were engaged in turns by the attack aircraft and neutralized.

In another development, the ATF conducted several ISR and Close Air Support missions throughout the night of 12 and early morning of 13 September 2018 in support of troops of the 145 Nigerian Army Battalion, ensuring that the BHTs’ attack at Damasak was thwarted. Meanwhile, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, was in Maiduguri today, 13 September 2018, to again assess progress of the operation as well as boost the morale of the frontline troops. He seized the opportunity to commend the Comd and personnel of the ATF for their efforts while urging them to sustain the momentum of operations with a view to locating and destroying all remnants of the insurgents within the fringes of Lake Chad and other areas in Northern Borno.

IBIKUNLE DARAMOLA
Air Commodore
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force

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