Many Boko Haram leaders, fighters killed in Sambisa Forest – DHQ

(File photo) Nigerian Air Force helicopter

Defence Headquarters says Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole (OPLD) has destroyed a compound housing some high profile Boko Haram terrorist leaders at Garin Maloma.

It said that this led to the killing of some of leaders and their fighters at the town on the fringes of Sambisa Forest in Borno.

The coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, made the disclosure in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.

Enenche said the feat was achieved through massive air strikes executed to mark the launch of ‘Operation Long Reach’, a new subsidiary operation that commenced on June 16.

He said that Garin Maloma was a major node in the Boko Haram terrorists’ line of communication in the Sambisa forest axis.

Enenche explained that the attack was based on credible intelligence reports as well as days of surveillance missions.

He said the report indicated that the terrorists had begun using one of the compounds in the settlement for accommodation and training of their fighters.

According to him, the task force dispatched an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft and fighter jets to attack the location.

“Overhead the target area, many terrorists were observed in the vicinity of the settlement, with a few around the solar panel-mounted, High Value Target (HVT) location.

“The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets engaged the location in successive waves of attacks,  leading to significant damage to numerous structures as well as killing of several terrorists.

“Some terrorists, who survived the first few waves and converged around the rubble near the damaged HVT compound, were taken out in subsequent follow-on attacks.

“The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who was in Maiduguri to flag-off ‘Operation Long Reach’ commended the troops and directed them to intensify the air offensive against the terrorists and all other enemies of our great nation,” he said.