1st September, 2023
By Sumaila Ogbaje
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says airstrikes knocked out known terrorists’ camps in Borno and active illegal oil refining sites in Rivers.
Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, the Director of Public Relations and Information, NAF, made this known in a statement on Friday in Abuja.
Gabkwet said that various air interaction missions against terrorists, militants, and oil thieves had continued to deny them the freedom to cause mayhem and havoc against innocent civilians, the environment, and the economy.
He said the Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK) executed airstrikes near Arina Woje on Friday, following confirmation that terrorists and their injured cohorts had continued to use the location situated in the Southern Tumbuns near Lake Tchad as a hideout.
According to him, credible intelligence had further revealed that the location remained active, with some other terrorists using the area to store their weapons and other logistics.
“Consequently, approval was given for the air strikes, with resounding success recorded based on the huge cloud of smoke and fire observed as well as feedback from locals at the fringes of the location.
“It is important to note that the area was last attacked on June 13, with resounding success, but it was discovered that some terrorists, feeling the heat from other areas, were returning to the location to hide,” he said.
According to the NAF spokesman, several air strikes were also carried out in Bille, a rural community in the Degema Local Government Area of Rivers, which he said had become well-known for numerous illegal oil refining activities.
One of such strikes, according to him, was carried out on Thursday and became necessary after an active illegal refining site with reservoirs and storage tanks suspected to be containing illegally refined products was observed.
He said the strikes were aimed at denying, discouraging, and destroying the activities of oil thieves, which he said had continued to damage the environment as well as the economy of the nation.
“Air strikes will continue in all troubled spots and areas where illegal criminal activities are known to occur.
“These operations will also be in liaison with other security and government agencies until the activities of these criminals are reduced to the barest minimum,” he said.