The Nigerian military has eliminated top leaders of the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) and scores of fighters in Borno in a major offensive.
Two commanders of the terror group, Amir Abu-Rabi and Mohamed Likita as well as dozens of their bodyguards and fighters, were killed.
While Abu-Rabi coordinated tax collection on behalf of the ISWAP in the Lake Chad axis, Likita was among controllers coordinating attacks on military formations.
The aerial assault that took them out was targeted at three major ISWAP hideouts at Kusuma, Sigir in Ngala and Arijallamari in Abadam Local Government Areas.
The airstrikes were coordinated by the Air Task Force of the counter-terrorism operation, Operation Lafiya Dole.
The raids, in conjunction with the Artillery Fire Units of Sector 3, Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), was conducted one week after the Nigerian Air Force Alpha jet went missing.
A military intelligence officer told newsmen that Kusuma is a coordinating base of the ISWAP leaders, Sigir and Arijallamari were training camps for terrorists.
“The attacked locations, especially Kusuma and Sigir were notorious havens used by ISWAP for coordination and training of fighters on preemptive attacks on military positions and civilian areas.
“Recent attacks at Damasak, Malam Fatori, Monguno, Dikwa and Marte axis were coordinated from the locations. The bombardments have pushed the surviving and wounded terrorists to Jibularam and Sabon Tumbu riverbank areas.”
In another operation, Nigerian troops and Civilian JTF operatives ambushed terrorists at the Gubio-Magumeri axis.
They set a trap at Kareram village after intelligence of insurgents advancing from Malam Yaumari Village for an attack.
Some of the terrorists were killed, others escaped with injuries. Items recovered included sophisticated weapons and motorcycles.