By Augustine Osayande PhD
Nigerian troops of Operation WUTAN DAJI, a subsidiary air interdiction of the Air Component of Operation HADARIN DAJI, has destroyed 10 bandits’ camps and neutralized scores of bandits 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.
Confirming the report, Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters, Major General John Enenche, said the Operation, which was preceded by the massive deployment of additional air assets and ground support equipment by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in Katsina, was aimed at taking out bandits’ locations that were painstakingly selected, based on impeccable Human Intelligence (HUMINT) reports as well as a series of Surveillance missions.
This, according to him, was to significantly degrade the bandits’ fighting capability before it could be brought to bear against friendly forces or innocent civilians.
Enenche said since the operation began on 20 June 2020, 10 locations had been attacked and scores of armed bandits neutralized.
He added that this was confirmed by HUMINT reports.
The Coordinator Defence Media Operations said some of the significant air strikes included 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.
He explained that at Dutsen Asolo, the NAF jets dispatched by the Air Component attacked the cave and 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.
Enenche further stated that 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.
He said at Birnin Kogo on 22 June 2020, some 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.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, said the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who was in Katsina to oversee the Operation, had commended the Air Components of Operation HADARIN DAJI for their professionalism.
He said Abubakar urged them to remain resolute in the conduct of air strikes while continuing to provide close air support for ongoing ground operations in order to eradicate all bandits.
He tasked them to strive to accomplish the directives of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) to restore normalcy in the North West and North Central Zones of the Country.