1. The Land and Air Components of Operation THUNDER STRIKE have neutralized several armed bandits in a joint offensive operation to clear identified bandits’ camp around Kuku area of Kagarko Local Government Area along the Kaduna-Abuja Expressway axis of Kaduna State. The operation was executed yesterday, 17 November 2020, on the heels of credible Human Intelligence reports indicating that a cluster of huts and other structures at the location served as hideout for a notorious bandits’ leader, named “Major”, along with his fighters.
2. The first wave of the Air Component’s air strikes, which involved 6 Nigerian Air Force (NAF) aircraft undertaking 5 missions in a total of 13 sorties, commenced at dawn and targeted the cluster of huts housing “Major”. The attack aircraft hit some of the target structures and neutralized some of the bandits.
3. The second wave of attacks was executed by NAF helicopter gunships which, while continuing to engage the bandits’ location, also provided close air support to the Land Component as they advanced from Kagarko via Kuku into the bandits’ enclave. This 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 operation.
4. 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 enemies of the Nation.
Defence Media Operations
18 November 2020.