The Nigerian Air Force, working in concert with the Nigerien Air Force provided support for Nigerian ground forces at the weekend and thwarted a Boko Haram Terrorist (BHT) attack at Gashigar in Borno.
Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, in a statement on Sunday said the operation was carried out on Saturday.
” The operation was carried out overnight of October 27 and early morning of October 28, following a report from troops at Gashigar that their location was under attack.
” Accordingly, a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform that was on a mission at another location was immediately redirected to Gashigar,” he said.
The NAF spokesman said that In addition, a pair of Mi-35 helicopter gunships were scrambled to the location.
” Overhead Gashigar, the NAF ISR platform was joined by another from the Nigerien Air Force and they both were able to identify the location of the BHTs, in 13 Gun Trucks, as they advanced towards the camp from two different directions.
” They subsequently directed the fire of the helicopter gunships and ground troops support weapons towards the terrorists,” he said.
Daramola said that the combined fire forced the BHTs to retreat from the camp.
” However, the BHTs attempted to regroup at a location outside the camp but were again engaged by the helicopter gunships and sent scampering in different directions, with several of them killed or injured in the process,” he said.
According to him, the ISR platform and helicopters remained within the location providing necessary air support for the troops until the situation was stabilised and threats neutralised.
The spokesman said that the NAF, working in concert with ground forces, would sustain the tempo of operations with a view to destroying all remnants of the terrorists on the fringes of Lake Chad and other areas in northern Borno.