By Enyichukwu Enemanna
A key leader of the Boko Haram terrorist group has been killed during a “successful” air operation carried out by the air component of Operation Hadin Kai, fighting the IS-backed terror group in Nigeria’s North East, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) announced on Saturday.
Abu Asad is believed to be a key figure in the Ali Ngulde group under the Boko Haram sect and was reportedly eliminated along with his fighters during a gathering where they were suspected to be planning an attack on troops.
The operation is one of the most successful in recent times, the Nigerian Air Force said in a statement on Saturday by its Director of Information and Public Relations, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet.
The Air Force also destroyed two out of three structures used by the terrorists during the airstrikes, Gabkwet noted, adding that over 100 had converged for either a meeting or planning an attack when the air interdiction was carried out.
“In what could be described as arguably one of the most successful strikes undertaken by the Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai, Nigerian Air Force aircraft, on November 24, 2023, carried out air strikes on a massing of terrorists in an isolated location consisting of three zinced structures amid several trees.
“From the footage, it was evident that the terrorists were massing up at the location for either a well-planned meeting or preparing for a major attack on own troops. Over 100 heavily armed terrorists were observed throwing banters and moving randomly around the structures which also had 4 troop carriers.
“The aftermath of the air strike revealed that two out of the three structures, as well as the entire troop carriers, were destroyed. There were also indications that one Abu Asad, a key figure in the Ali Ngulde group under Boko Haram, and several of his fighters like Ibrahim Nakeeb, Mujaheed Dimtu, and Mustafa Munzir among others were eliminated in the air strike.”
He said the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, has commended the Air Component Commander and his men while urging them to continue to synergise with the land component as they maintain the momentum.
“We must continue to justify the trust and confidence the Federal Government and our people have bestowed on us by ensuring that we go all out in making life unbearable for these terrorists and criminals until they surrender or are completely eliminated,” he was quoted as saying.