The president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, has recently ordered a military airstrike targetted at bandits who have been responsible for cattle rustling and kidnapping of school children in Northern Nigeria.
The Nigerian Airforce has killed an unspecified number of bandits in numerous air raids conducted in Kaduna State communities over the past two days.
According to security reports by the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, military troops centred their mission at Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Igabi and Chikun local government areas of Kaduna state,
Three bandits were killed in Maidaro while travelling along a river line on motorcycles and more were killed in Gwari after they were sighted with herds of cattle.
More bandits with herds of cattle were also killed four kilometres south of Kampanin Doka.
Troops on armed reconnaissance missions in Maidaro and Sarari, both in Giwa LGA, also killed two separate gangs of bandits sighted with large herds of cattle.
Recon missions were also carried out in numerous areas of the state where no threats were reported.
Aruwan had reported earlier this week that bandits killed 18 people in two communities in the latest spate of attacks in the state.
The sequence of attacks was carried out on soft targets in Igabi and Chikun local government areas occurring over the last 48 hours.
Kaduna is one of the worst affected by banditry in the northern region, with over 100 people killed in numerous communities since January, 90 of them killed in February alone.
Meanwhile, Major General John Enenche, Coordinator Defence Media Operations, disclosed in a statement that the operation was conducted on Saturday following reliable intelligence reports indicating the presence of bandits in the area, about 20km West of the Kaduna-Abuja Highway.
He added that aerial surveillance missions were been intensified, in coordination with ground troops, to locate the fleeing bandits.
Other Military Airstrikes In Nigeria
On February 18, 2021, a combat aircraft of the Nigerian military conducted an airstrike in Orlu LGA, Imo State, Nigeria.
The operation was reportedly in a bid to locate and engage operatives of the Eastern Security Network accused of killing soldiers and causing mayhem in the area.
Five persons, including a middle-aged woman, were reportedly killed by stray bullets from the Nigerian Army who allegedly drawn from the 34 Artillery Brigade in Obinze.
On October 19, 2020, the Defence Headquarters announced that Operation Lafiya Dole (OPLD) had neutralised several Boko Haram Terrorists in airstrikes on their hideout at Tsilala, near Kaza in the Dikwa general area of Borno State.
According to the Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets and helicopter gunships dispatched by the Air Task Force took turns in engaging the location.
“They scored accurate hits in the target area, resulting in the neutralisation of several terrorists as well as the destruction of some of their structures,” he said.
An unidentified number of terrorists were reportedly killed.
Another airstrike was conducted by the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole in December 28, 2020 which eliminated scores of terrorists in Sambisa forest, Borno State.
Between May 20 to 22, 2020, the Nigerian military coordinated other airstrikes at several locations in Katsina and Zamfara States which neutralized no fewer than 135 armed bandits.