The Defence Headquarters says the troops of Operation Thunder Strike, on Tuesday, neutralised several bandits in a joint land and air offensive to clear identified bandits’ camps on the Kaduna-Abuja expressway.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, in a statement issued on Wednesday, said that the camps were located at Kuku in Kagarko Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Enenche said that the operation was executed based on credible intelligence which indicated that a cluster of huts and other structures at the location served as a hideout for the bandits.
He said that the first wave of airstrikes involved six Nigerian Air Force (NAF) aircraft which undertook five missions in a total of 13 sorties.
According to him, the operation commenced at dawn and was targetted at the cluster of huts housing a notorious bandits’ leader, simply identified as “Major”.
He said that the attack aircraft hit some of the target structures and killed some of the bandits.
Enenche also disclosed that the second wave of attacks was executed by NAF helicopter gunships which engaged the bandits’ location.
He said that the airstrikes also provided close air support to the land component, as they advanced from Kagarko via Kuku into the bandits’ enclave.
This, he said, paved way for the ground troops to overrun and destroy the camp without effective resistance from the bandits.
“A NAF Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft remained airborne, providing situational awareness for the troops throughout the operations.
“The Military High Command commends the land and air components for their professionalism and urges them to remain resolute in the conduct of operations in order to eradicate all armed bandits.
“Furthermore, the Armed Forces of Nigeria sincerely appreciates the continued support and cooperation of all well-meaning Nigerians, as it keeps up the tempo of operations to defeat all the enemies of the nation,” he said.