NFA Air strikes destroy illegal refineries, Boko Haram/ISWAP hideout in Borno, Rivers

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) said airstrikes conducted by the air component of Operation Hadin Kai have destroyed Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) hideout and logistic base along the fringes of Lake Tchad, in Borno State.

It also said that airstrikes conducted in the Niger Delta region destroyed illegal refineries in Bille, a rural community in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State.

The NAF in a statement issued on Friday, September 1, by its spokesperson, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, said the air strikes against terrorists, militants, and oil thieves would continue unabetted across the country in order to deny criminal elements the freedom to cause havoc against innocent civilians, the environment and the country’s economy.

The statement said the air strikes were conducted against Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists near Arina Woje earlier on Friday after “it was confirmed that terrorists and their injured cohorts have continued to use the location, which is situated in the Southern Tumbuns near Lake Tchad, as a hideout.”

“Credible intelligence had further revealed that the location remained active with some other terrorists using the area to store their weapons and other logistics,” the statement said.

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“Consequently, approval was given for the air strikes with the 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 said the area was earlier bombed by NAF jets on 13 June 2023, with resounding success, but it was later discovered that some terrorists, returned to the area to hide, after they felt much heat from the military where they had fled to.

According to the statement, several air strikes were also carried out in the Niger Delta area of the country.

It said airstrikes were conducted in Bille, a rural community in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State, which it said was becoming well-known for numerous illegal oil refining activities.

The statement said: “One of such strikes, carried out on 31 August 2023, became necessary after an active illegal refining site with reservoirs and storage tanks suspected to be containing illegally refined products was observed.

“The strikes aimed at denying, discouraging, and destroying the activities of oil thieves, which has continued to damage the environment as well as the economy of the nation, was deemed successful.”

The NAF said it would continue air strikes 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.”

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