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Nigerian Air Force’s Airstrikes Target ISWAP Gathering In Lake Chad

The Airforce targeted about 20 boats converging in the Lake Chad basin. Insurgents and other inhabitants use boats for movement in the region.

Three Nigerian Air Force combat aircraft on Wednesday, Oct. 20,  carried out a series of airstrikes targeting ISWAP fighters converging in about 20 boats in the volatile Lake Chad.

According to the Air Force, the aircraft were despatched for operations upon receiving intelligence about the movement of  20 boats converging for a meeting on an island in the Tumbuns on Lake Chad and at Malam Fatori.

Pilots of the aircraft were reported to have observed a gathering of about 20 boats consisting of five to seven suspected terrorists in each boat, following which bombs and rockets were employed against the targets.  

Both ISWAP and Boko Haram sub-factions in Lake Chad use boats for transporting fighters, conducting attacks as well as engaging in socio-economic activities. Although boats are still necessary means of transportation for the civilians living in the shoreline communities in the region. 

The group’s activities around the Lake Chad islands known as Tumbuns serve as defensive, offensive, and resource support. 

Bright light from the impact of an airstrike on an island in Lake Chad.

In the past few years, Nigerian artillery and airstrikes have targeted fighters and logistics bases in islands like Tumbun Allura, Tumbun Rego and Doron naira, alongside Tumbun Gini, Tumbun Sale, Tumbun Fulani, Tumbun Barorowa, Tumbun Nbororo,  and Tumbun Hamma.

The Nigerian Navy has also stepped up its presence in Lake Chad with the reactivation of the outpost in the fishing town of Baga close to the shores of Lake Chad. 

The Nigerian Army already has an amphibious contingent deployed alongside other ground forces and the  Multinational Joint Task Force in Baga. 


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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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