The Air Component of OPERATION LAFIYA DOLE has foiled a plan by Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) to ambush own surface forces harboured at Doron Naira, north of Borno State.
The Nigerian Defence Headquarters revealed this in a statement issued on Monday.
It stated that on Sunday 19 June 2016, a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) King Air A350i Beechcraft aircraft on Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) mission sighted a group of BHTs in 7 Hilux vehicles hiding under tress at a location along the axis of advance of own ground forces towards Kangarawa, north of Borno State.
Following this discovery, an Alpha Jet was scrambled to attack the BHT location. The attack was successful as 15 members of the BHTs were killed and the whole vehicles knocked out.
The casualty figure was confirmed by ground forces who subsequently consolidated on the gains of the air effort to pursue and inflict further casualty on the fleeing wounded members of the terrorist group.
Troops also confirmed 2 gun trucks were among vehicles destroyed by the Alpha Jet as 2 x AK-47 rifles, 2 x RPGs and cache of assorted munitions were recovered.
“The latest victory against the BHTs brings to fore the important role of airpower in counterinsurgency operation.
In furtherance of this role, the NAF has been relentless in its effort to shape the battlespace and provide favourable environment for own surface forces to operate.
“The recent deployment of additional platforms to increase the tempo of air operations at the commencement of OPERATION GAMA AIKI is aimed at fostering this objective. The foiled plan to ambush own surface forces by BHTs shows that the air efforts by the NAF has started to yield the desired results.” It stated.