The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), via the Air Task Force, commenced the conduct of OP THUNDER STRIKE against Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT) in the Northeast. The Operation is an independent Air Interdiction by the NAF to attack selected BHT locations that are currently inaccessible to own troops on account of the onset of the rainy season. On the first day of the Operation, air strikes from NAF aircraft resulted in the destruction of BHT structures and the death of all the insurgents at a settlement in Gargash and at another one, East of Gargash, both in Borno State.
Earlier on, a NAF Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft had observed BHT presence over a settlement in Gargash, following which the ATF deployed NAF fighter aircraft to attack the location. After the successful attacks, some of the fighter platforms proceeded to an adjoining target, East of Gargash, where BHT activities were also observed. As a result of the attacks, the BHT structures within the settlements were destroyed and set on fire, killing some insurgents while some fled to hide under trees at a nearby bush.
Consequently, another wave of air strikes was launched to strafe the hideouts, killing many of the fleeing insurgents. Meanwhile, at the time of filing this report, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Abubakar, was still in Maiduguri, where he had gone to motivate the frontline personnel while also obtaining firsthand information on the progress of the Operation.