- As part of efforts to rid the North West and North Central States of the Country of armed bandits and other criminal elements, the Air Component of Operation HADARIN DAJI has launched a subsidiary air interdiction Operation, codenamed WUTAN DAJI. The Operation, which was preceded by the massive deployment of additional air assets and ground support equipment by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to Katsina, is aimed at taking out armed bandits’ locations that were painstakingly selected, based on impeccable Human Intelligence (HUMINT) reports as well as series of Surveillance missions, in order to significantly degrade the armed bandits’ fighting capability before it could be brought to bear against friendly forces or innocent civilians.
- Since the operation began on 20 June 2020, 10 locations have been attacked and scores of armed bandits neutralized, as confirmed by HUMINT reports. Some of the significant air strikes include those executed at Dutsen Asolo and Birnin Kogo areas of Katsina State as well as at Dogo Gede’s Camp in the Kwayanbana Forest area of Zamfara State.
- At Dutsen Asolo, NAF jets dispatched by the Air Component attacked the cave/hideout of the bandits, destroying the main entry point and neutralizing some fighters. Some surviving bandits, who were tracked escaping from the cave area were taken out in follow-on strikes. Also, on 21 June 2020, at the bandits’ enclave in the Kwayanbana Forest, an attack helicopter took out one of the bandits’ logistics huts, which was seen engulfed in flames. Similarly, at Birnin Kogo on 22 June 2020, some armed bandits, who fled their dwellings in the centre of the camp to nearby bushes on hearing the sound of the attack aircraft, were neutralized as the NAF fighter jets hit them at their hiding positions.
- The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who was in Katsina to oversee the Operation, has commended the Air Component of Operation HADARIN DAJI for their professionalism. He has urged them to remain resolute in the conduct of air strikes whilst continuing to provide close air support for ongoing ground operations in order to eradicate all armed bandits; thus accomplishing the directives of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) to restore normalcy in the North West and North Central Zones of the Country.
Defence Media Operations
24 June 2020