Tension!!! Boko Haram hoists flag in Borno town
By Steve Oko
There is frenzy in Borno State as the Islamic State West African Province, believed to be the deadlier arm of Boko Haram, has hoisted its flag in the Magari area of Lake Chad in the northern part of Borno State.
The sad development has however elicited quick response from the Nigerian Air Force fighter jets which reportedly bombed the location killing scores of the terrorists.
The ISWAP flag was reportedly sighted on two buildings in a hideout by a NAF Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance platform on Sunday, after which the military called for air strikes on the buildings.
Boko Haram had claimed a number of towns and LGAs in the state before the 2015 elections but the Army said it had recovered the territories under the control of the terrorists.
Wawa News Global learnt that the air task force of Operation Lafiya Dole conducted the strikes on the area.
Our checks further revealed that the Air Force has sustained ariel bombardment of the vicinity.
Magari has remained a hot bed for Boko Haram terrorists who have carried out deadly attacks in the town in the recent times.
Confirming the development, the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, said the flag indicated that “some high-level ISWAP leaders and fighters” were present in the buildings and therefore the Alpha jets were deployed to strike the insurgents.
His words : “The Air Task Force has significantly degraded an ISWAP terrorists’ hideout and neutralised some of its leaders and fighters at Magari on the fringes of Lake Chad in Borno. This was accomplished in an air interdiction mission on Monday.
“Credible intelligence reports indicated that some senior ISWAP leaders arrived at the settlement on Friday along with some of their fighters. An ISR mission confirmed human activities in the settlement with a prominent ISWAP flag observed near two compounds.
“Accordingly, two NAF Alpha jets, supported by an ISR platform, were dispatched to attack the identified compounds within the settlement. Overhead the target area, the bombs resulted to the destruction of several structures, which were seen engulfed in flames. Several of the terrorists were also neutralised in the process.
“The NAF, operating in concert with surface forces, will sustain its operations against the terrorists in the North-East.”
The federal government has repeatedly claimed that Boko Haram has been technically defeated but realities on ground sometimes seem to contradict such claims.