By Victor Akaa, Abuja
The military high command say, the Air Component of Operation Wutan Daji, a subsidiary of Operation Hadarin Daji have knocked out armed bandits’ camps and killed scores of fighters in some parts of Zamfara and Katsina states.
This was since the air component of Operation Hadarin Daji has launched a subsidiary air interdiction operation, codenamed Wutan Daji which began it’s operations on 20 June 2020 as part of efforts to rid the North West and North Central States of the Country of armed bandits and other criminal elements.
Maj. Gen. John Enenche, Coordinator Defence Media Operations in an official statement revealed to News Headquarter said, about 10 locations have so far been attacked and scores of armed bandits neutralized, as confirmed by Human Intelligent (HUMINT) reports.
According to Enenche, some of the significant air strikes include those executed at Dutsen Asolo and Birnin Kogo areas of Katsina State as well as at Dogo Gede’s Camp in the Kwayanbana Forest area of Zamfara State
Enenche added that,at Dutsen Asolo, NAF jets dispatched by the Air Component attacked the cave/hideout of the bandits, destroying the main entry point and neutralizing some fighters.
He said, some surviving bandits, who were tracked escaping from the cave area were taken out in follow-on strikes.
According to him on 21 June 2020, at the bandits’ enclave in the Kwayanbana Forest, an attack helicopter took out one of the bandits’ logistics huts, which was seen engulfed in flames.
In a similar operation which took place at Birnin Kogo on 22 June 2020, he said, some armed bandits, who fled their dwellings in the centre of the camp to nearby bushes on hearing the sound of the attack aircraft, were neutralized as the NAF fighter jets hit them at their hiding positions.
All these Operations were successful due to massive deployment of additional air assets and ground support equipment by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to Katsina, which was aimed at taking out armed bandits’ locations that were painstakingly selected, based on impeccable Human Intelligence (HUMINT) reports as well as series of Surveillance missions, in order to significantly degrade the armed bandits’ fighting capability before it could be brought to bear against friendly forces or innocent civilians.
The Coordinator however said, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who was in Katsina to oversee the Operation, has commended the Air Component of Operation Hadarin Daji for their professionalism.
The CAS has also urged them to remain resolute in the conduct of air strikes whilst continuing to provide close air support for ongoing ground operations in order to eradicate all armed bandits; thus accomplishing the directives of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) to restore normalcy in the North West and North Central Zones of the Country.