How Air Force Stopped Boko Haram In Konduga

(m) at 6-10-2014 04:30AM (5 years ago)

(33 | Newbie)

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But for the superiority displayed by the Nigerian troops through incessant air strikes and the complementary effort of ground troops, the Boko Haram terrorists would have hoisted their flags in Konduga and then march on Maiduguri, LEADERSHIP can now authoritatively report.

It was a fierce battle of several days between the well-armed insurgents and the troops but the troops eventually won in the end, killing no fewer than 600 members of the outlawed sect, including the one posing as their late leader, Abubakar Shekau. On its side, the troops had some injured soldiers and a missing fighter jet.

Giving a vivid account of how the battle was fought and won, a top military officer, who was heavily involved in the operations, commended the bravery and professionalism displayed by some Air Force officers who were rained bombs on the terrorists before they could reach Konduga on their way to setting upon Maiduguri.

“Each time we read or heard people claiming the terrorists were better armed than us, it saddened us – if only you knew how we stopped them from taking over Konduga in their bid to take over Maiduguri. The moment we heard of their coming, we alerted the air troops who covered the land, attacking terrorists from the air and this helped us to move in unhindered and we put them where they belong. They were killed in hundreds, because they were many but we had superior firepower both in the air and on the ground. That was where that fake Abubakar Shekau was caught during the exchange of fire,” he said.

Speaking further, the officer explained that but for the air attacks, “our troops would have suffered untold casualties, but that was prevented; instead, it was our troops that were killing those who resisted arrest, while most of them either fled or surrendered. There is the A-Jet and F-7 fighter aircraft for air cover and ground attacks. They also made use of the powerful M-24/35 attack helicopters for tactical and ground attacks. That was how we were able to rout them from their camps.”

Speaking in the same vein, a very senior officer of the Nigerian Air Force attributed the victory recorded by the troops to the sophisticated Jet fighters that are being used in the ongoing counter-insurgency operations coupled with the patriotism, courage and the professionalism of the NAF officers.

“We have a set of well-trained officers whose sense of patriotism and dedication to duty is never in doubt. Not only that, the Chief of Air Staff (Air Marshal Adesola Amosu) released all the needed fighter jets to us.

“There are C-130H and G-222 for airlift of troops and logistics, DO-228 for medical evacuation and light transport. ATR 42 and Beach craft mounted with cameras for surveillance and reconnaissance. There is the A-Jet and F-7 fighter aircraft for air cover and ground attack. Finally, we have the dreaded M-24/35 attack helicopters for tactical and ground attack. All these are employed one time or the other as the need arises”.

When asked to comment on the missing aircraft, the officer explained that it was painful that the aircraft used immensely in the victory at Konduga was still missing and expressed hope that the two pilots and the aircraft would be found.

“I pray we locate the missing aircraft. The two pilots played heroic and courageous roles in the battles at Konduga. Whenever we heard that those criminals were coming, these guys moved in, bombarding the terrorists’ camps, killing them in hundreds. I have read the new spokesman of Boko Haram claiming they were the ones that shot down the aircraft. If they did, they would have broken the news immediately. We are still studying their claims and the man they claimed was Wing Commander Chimda Hedima. Those two pilots were the heroes of the victory at Konduga,” he said.