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NAF Airstrikes Eliminate Key Boko Haram/ISWAP Terrorists Commander, Other Top Figures, Fighters in Kirta Wulgo, Northeast Nigeria

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Super Tucano aircraft under Operation Hadin Kai have carried out missions in the Northeast area of operation, eliminating key Boko Haram/ Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) Terrorists Commander, other top figures and fighters in Kirta Wulgo, Northeast Nigeria.

Killed alongside the senior ISWAP senior Commander, Mallam Ari in charge of Kirta Wulgo, were at least three foreign mercenaries fabricating Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) for the terrorists.

Sources confirmed that the NAF airstrike bombardments struck close to a point where the ISWAP had hoisted its flag, near a make-shift structure, an indication that the structure may have had a high calibre terrorist target.

About two weeks ago, ISWAP leadership made sweeping changes to its command structures due to the loss of some of its key members who died mainly through airstrikes by NAF aircraft in the area of operation.

A source noted that the successful strikes by NAF aircraft and likely death of its deputy military commander at Kirta Wulgo shows that the changes may not be yielding the result expected by ISWAP after all.

According to a source, “yes, there are strong indications that the air interdiction strikes undertaken by Nigerian Air Force (NAF) aircrafts under Operation Hadin Kai on 21 Jan 22 eliminated several terrorists, including a key terrorist figure.

“The mission was authorized after intelligence revealed that over 40 terrorists were converging at the fringes of Northeast Kirta Wulgo, close to a point where a suspected ISWAP flag was hoisted. Some were also seen with weapons around a nearby make-shift structure, which was a likely indication that the structure may have had a high calibre terrorist target.

“After the air strikes, some of the surviving terrorists were observed making frantic efforts to put out the fire that ensued while others took to their heels. Indeed, the make-shift structures were significantly burnt and destroyed at the fringes.

“Unconfirmed reports revealed that several ISWAP fighters were neutralized in the air strikes including one Mallam Ari who was identified as the Fiya of Kirta Wulgo. Fiya is a title held by the second in the hierarchy of the terrorists’ military structure.

“There were also unconfirmed reports that the strikes may have eliminated 3 foreign Improvised Explosive Devise experts who may have been visiting the terrorists’ enclave at the time of the air strikes.”

But NAF Spokesperson, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, said upon inquiries that “yes, I can confirm to you that NAF aircraft indeed carried out strikes in the areas around Kirta Wulgo. But on the issue of figures of casualties as a result of the airstrikes, I have nothing to add to what I have just said, there was indeed airstrikes in the area.”

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