The Nigerian Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) on Tuesday said the recent air strikes conducted by the Air Task Force of Operation LAFIYA DOLE at Shokotoko Village in Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State was based on credible intelligence reports, obtained from land forces and other security agencies as well as reliable, vetted informants
According to a statement by the Coordinator of Defence Media Operations Major General John Enenche, the intelligence reports also confirmed that the target location was occupied solely by Boko Haram Terrorists.
Enenche further stated that the attack helicopter that executed the mission was accompanied by an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft to ensure proper targeting for avoidance of collateral damage.
He also noted that, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) pilots, by training and in line with extant Rules of Engagement (ROEs) for the operation, do not attack any location if it is observed that non-combatants, especially women and children, are present. In such cases, the pilots would rather return to Base with their munitions unexpended.
The Coordinator of Defence Media Operations said on the strength of the credible intelligence reports, the location was considered a legitimate target.
He said to allay public concerns occasioned by the aforementioned media reports, an investigation is being carried out and subsequent actions will be taken in line with extant regulations and best practices, while remaining accountable to the Nigerian people.
Enenche reassure the general public that the Armed Forces of Nigeria, in keeping with its professional responsibility, will continue to work assiduously to rid the North East of all terrorist elements with a view to facilitating a return to normalcy that would enable Nigerians in the area pursue their legitimate aspirations.