Nigerian fighter plane shot down by bandits


NAF Alpha Jet

The aircraft that was shot down was such an alpha jet (archive image)

The military says a plane hunting kidnapper in northern Nigeria was shot down by a criminal organization.

A Nigerian Air Force spokesman said the attack was successful when Alphajet was hit by a severe fire on Sunday.

Lieutenant Abayomi Taro, a pilot, used his “survival instinct” to find a shelter for local residents so that he would not be caught.

The attack occurred on the border between Zamfara and Kaduna.

Armed groups, locally known as “bandits,” have been accused of a series of recent kidnappings in the region of northwestern Nigeria.

Students and school children are particularly targeted, with more than 1,000 people being kidnapped since December. Most were reportedly released after the ransom was paid, but some were killed.

Recently, President Muhammadu Buhari has instructed the military to do everything necessary to wipe out the criminal elements of Katsina, Zamfara and Kaduna.

The Nigerian Air Force said it has begun working with ground forces to launch intensive day and night air force operations against bandits and their hideouts, especially in these three states. It was one of the operations that the fighter was shot down on Sunday.

“Through these intensive air force operations, hundreds of bandits have been incapacitated and some of their hideouts have been destroyed,” the Nigerian Air Force said in a statement.

There were several military aircraft crashes this year, the first reported example of an armed gang shooting down one.

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I was shocked in May when Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiel, an army staff member, died in a plane crash with 10 other officers in Nigeria.

In April, another AlphaJet crashed in Borno. This is one of the most active areas of Boko Haram’s militants. Reports that it was shot down by jihadists were denied by the military.

Earlier in February, a military plane heading to Niger to search for schoolchildren kidnapped in Abuja crashed, killing all seven on board.

The country will purchase 12 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft from the United States at a cost of $ 469 million (£ 350 million) and will receive the first six this month.

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