Armed ViolenceNews

Lake Chad: Airstrikes Target ISWAP Bunker, Concealed Buildings

On August 24, Nigerian Air Force fighter jets and gunships conducted simultaneous bombing and rocket strike runs on Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) buildings and fighters retreating to a bunker.

ISWAP and its parent group, Boko Haram, have been waging a decade long insurgency against Nigeria and neighbouring Lake Chad countries of Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

In an aircraft surveillance battle damage assessment video shared by the defence headquarters, a combat aircraft dropped a bomb on a compound with ISWAP fighters in Sabon Tumbun, an island in Lake Chad. Another aircraft proceeded to conduct multiple rocket and cannon strikes targeting fighters fleeing to hide in a nearby vegetation and bunker for protection.

In Kirta Wulgo, combat aircraft dropped a bomb and conducted rocket strikes on compounds built to blend with the adjacent vegetation to avoid detection from the air.

The airstrikes were targeted at high-value targets and positions of ISWAP in the Lake Chad region.

Maj.-Gen. Johan Enenche, the Coordinator Defence Media Operations, said in a statement that the Air Task Force of Operation LAFIYA DOLE had taken another major scalp off the ISWAP elements operating in the Island settlements of the Lake Chad in the Northern part of Borno State.

“This occurred yesterday, 24 August, 2020, in massive simultaneous air strikes executed under the subsidiary Operation HAIL STORM at Kirta Wulgo and Sabon Tumbun, 2 settlements on the fringes of the lake, where several key ISWAP leaders and scores of their fighters were killed.”

Enenche added that the missions were conducted on the heels of credible human intelligence reports indicating that some ISWAP leaders had relocated to Sabon Tumbun due to the impact of the recent airstrikes at the nearby Island settlement of Tumbuma Baba.

Similarly, up to 15 high ranking ISWAP commanders along with scores of their fighters were harboured at Kirta Wulgo, which serves as Administrative Headquarters and training camp for ISWAP.

“The Air Task Force dispatched an enhanced force package of Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets and helicopter gunships to attack the 2 locations scoring devastating hits leading to the elimination of several of the terrorists.

“Prominent terrorists’ leaders, including Abu Imraana, ISWAP Naval Commander, as well as Mallam Ibrahim and Mallam Abba, are believed to be among the many ISWAP casualties,’’ Enenche claimed.

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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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