The Nigerian Air Force on Tuesday launched a major offensive against bandits along the Abuja-Kaduna highway, killing many of the criminals in their camp.
The operation followed intelligence reports indicating that a cluster of huts and other structures at the location served as hideout for a notorious bandits’ leader, named ‘Major’ and his fighters.
The Defence Headquarters explained that six NAF aircraft undertaking five missions in a total of 13 sorties carried out a dawn raid on the cluster of huts housing the vagabonds.
This is coming 24 hours after bandits kidnapped over 10 persons on the road and also killed no fewer than five others.
Disclosing the development in a statement on Wednesday, titled, ‘Operation Thunder Strike: Land and air components clear bandits’ camp along Abuja-Kaduna expressway,’ the Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. John Enenche, said the raid cleared the Kuku area of Kagarko Local Government Area of the bandits.
It said, “The first wave of the Air Component’s airstrikes, which involved six Nigerian Air Force aircraft undertaking five missions in a total of 13 sorties, commenced at dawn and targeted the cluster of huts housing ‘Major.’
“The attack aircraft hit some of the target structures and neutralized some of the bandits.
“The second wave of attacks was executed by NAF helicopter gunships which, while continuing to engage the bandits’ location, also provided close air support to the land component as they advanced from Kagarko via Kuku into the bandits’ enclave.
“This paved the way for the ground troops to overrun and destroy the camp without effective resistance from the bandits.”
The DHQ further explained that a NAF Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance aircraft provided situational awareness for the troops throughout the operation.
The military high command commended the troops for their professionalism and urged them to remain resolute in the conduct of operations against the bandits.