The Nigerian military on Thursday said the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation Lafiya Dole has destroyed a compound housing some ‘High Value Boko Haram Terrorist’ (BHT) leaders and neutralized some of their fighters at Garin Maloma on the fringes of the Sambisa Forest in Borno State.

In a statement, the Coordinator Defence Media Operation, Major General John Enenche said this was achieved through massive air strikes executed to mark the launch of Operation Long Reach, a new subsidiary operation in the theatre, which commenced on 16 June 2020.

He said, “the attack at Garin Maloma, a major node in the BHT’s line of communication in the Sambisa Forest axis, was undertaken based on credible intelligence reports as well as days of surveillance missions indicating that the terrorists had begun using one of the compounds in the settlement for accommodation and training of their fighters.”

He noted that the ATF dispatched an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft and fighter jets to attack the location.

Overhead the target area, many BHT fighters were observed in the vicinity of the settlement, with a few around the solar panel-mounted, High Value Target (HVT) location.

He said the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets engaged the location in successive waves of attacks leading to significant damage to numerous structures as well as killing of several terrorists. 

He said some terrorists, who survived the first few waves and converged around the rubble near the damaged HVT compound, were taken out in subsequent follow-on attacks. 

Enenche noted that the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who was in Maiduguri to flag-off Operation Long Reach commended the Air Task Force, directing them to intensify the air offensive against the terrorists. 

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