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Posts tagged ‘Maiduguri International Airport’

Nigeria loosing the fight against Boko Haram as more jets deployed by Air Force.


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by: Yusuf Alli,
Air chief in BornoAPC governors to President: reassess your strategy
More fighter jets were deployed in Maiduguri, the troubled Borno State capital, yesterday as troops battled fleeing Boko Haram insurgents.As at press time last night, many insurgents had been killed in air raids but the casualty figure was unknown.The Defence Headquarters said ground troops were counting the dead.The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh, relocated yesterday to Maiduguri to co-ordinate the assault against the insurgents, who stormed the city on Monday to attack the Air Force Base and the airport.Besides, a team raised by the Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ibrahim Ola Sa’ad, went on a stock-taking mission to Maiduguri.The team, which was led by the Director of Operations at the Defence Headquarters, Air Vice Marshal Psakr, also included the Director of

Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. Chris Olukolade.A preliminary report obtained by the assessment team revealed that the Air Force Base and the Maiduguri International Airport were attacked by Boko Haram because air assaults against the insurgents were co-ordinated there.The report has been submitted to the CDS by the assessment team for critical analysis by the military high command.According to a top source, who pleaded not to be named because he is not permitted to talk to the media, “there has been heavy encounters in the last 24 hours with the insurgents”.The 24-hour curfew imposed on Maiduguri by the Borno State government in the wake of the attack was reduced yesterday to 12 hours.The source said: “We have been engaging in heavy encounters with the fleeing insurgents. More fighter jets were deployed in Maiduguri from various formations.“To underscore the importance of this exercise, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh, shifted base to Maiduguri to co-ordinate air assaults on the insurgents.“There have been serious air raids on all the bases and enclaves or clusters of the Boko Haram insurgents.”The source spoke on the casualty. He said: “As at Monday night and in the early hours of Tuesday, many of the insurgents sighted have been neutralised. The ground troops are taking stock of the death toll. In the next one or two days, we will be able to give you accurate figures.”The team sent to Maiduguri was mandated to find out what led to the attack; how it was repelled and the situation in Maiduguri.Another source said: “The insurgents opted to attack the base and destroy any military aircraft on ground. Unfortunately for them, they could only ground two helicopters. The three other aircraft attacked were already due for museum because they had become de-commissioned.“The team realised that Boko Haram insurgents were touched by the losses they had incurred from air assaults in the past few months.“The insurgents were certainly on revenge mission; they wanted to incapacitate the air base because they had suffered huge losses.”Gen. Olukolade said the authorities were reviewing the situation.“The operation in Maiduguri and Yobe axis has continued, we will keep you posted appropriately,” he said, confirming that the CDS sent a team to Maiduguri.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Maiduguri International Airport Closed After Boko Haram Terrorist Raid On Air Force Base.


maiduguri international-airport

Operations at the Maiduguri International Airport have been suspended and the Joint Task Force

has taken over the airport following a raid on nearby military units by Boko Haram.

Residents of Maiduguri said the Islamist militant sect attacked the Nigerian Air Force base in the early hours of today in attempt to overrun the entire city of Maiduguri. About 300 militants were reported to have arrived in pickup trucks with heavy weaponry

Several explosives were hauled at the base but Air Force personnel reportedly repelled the militants, killing several of them.

There is no word on casualties on the side of the military. Mobile telephone lines have been shut down since President Goodluck Jonathan imposed a state of emergency on three states, including Borno, in May.

A spokesperson for the ministry of Aviation, Yakubu Datti confirmed the closure of the airport to SaharaReporters, but he denied the airport was affected in the attack.

Similarly, SaharaReporters can exclusively reports that negligence on security measures advised following Boko Haram renewed insurgency is one of the reasons that largely made today’s attack possible by the sect.

The Nigerian military despite its denial are fighting the Boko Haram sect with obsolete weapons that are less inferior to that of the sect’s sophistication, and also poorly remuneration for the troops on the war front.

A military source confirmed that for over month, both the Federal Government and the higher military command have been advised on the need to station detachment of counter-terrorist troops around Sahara Desert with sole aim of crushing Boko Haram Islamic sect in view of the sect penetration in Nigeria through several borders with Niger Republic, Cameroon and Chad.

Yobe state, which is second stronghold of the sect, also had international borders with Zinder and Diffa regions of Niger Republic.

The formation of a military base, according to the source remained most viable option in containing the increasingly strength of the sect, who are getting training, support and other logistic support in the un-policed deserts that stretch from Algeria and Mauritania up to Niger and Chad.

The source who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “It has become imperative for us to submit our candid position as military with sole responsibility of preserving Nigeria’s sovereignty. The terrorists find their way into Borno and Yobe via our porous borders. And their main planning and training is in the desert, afterwards they sneak into their camps inside Nigeria and so instead of waiting, we are proposing that we have full military base in the desert that would comprise both land and air operations.

“This is our submission to the government; it is dangerous waiting for them. They are becoming more sophisticated and organize by the day, and so we must move forward. Their trainees and those providing them with logistics are right inside the desert between Niger Republic and Chad.”, the source said.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Islamic terrorists Boko Haram attack on Maiduguri Air force base, 3 military helicopters burnt.


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FOLLOWING the Boko Haram attack on the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) base in Borno State, it has been revealed that military ambulance made seven trips taking corpses to undisclosed hospitals within Maiduguri.

Fighting had erupted in the early hours of Monday at about 2.45 a.m between suspected members of Boko Haram insurgents and troops when the gunmen attacked the NAF base, also known as 79 Composite Group and burnt down three military helicopters.

Although the media was denied entrance, when the state governor, Kashim Shettima, visited the base, credible sources told newsmen that the attack was the worst in recent times.

It was also gathered that over 20 military men were killed at Pompomari outpost, NAF headquarters gate, Staff Quarters outpost, 333 Artillery regiment, 707/Airport while four innocent civilians on Kofa outskirts were also shot dead by insurgents.

Sources also said there was an intelligence report about the attack three days ago, when a member of the Boko Haram sect was arrested in Maiduguri, but the report was not taken with the required attention.

According to sources, the gunmen came in 23 Hilux vehicles to wreak havoc and left with many security vehicles.

“They went away with some security vehicles belonging to SSS at the 333 artillery,” one of the sources said.

Confirming the incident in a report issued by the Director, Defence Information, Brigadier-General Chris Olukolade, the military stated that military locations such as NAF base and some Nigerian Army locations in Maiduguri were targeted during the attack.

According to him, 24 insurgents were killed, while two Air Force personnel were wounded during the exchange of fire.

He said three decommissioned military aircraft, as well as two helicopters were incapacitated in the course of the attack.

He stated that security forces were in pursuit of the terrorists in the Djemtillo general area, on the Maiduguri/Banishek axis.

The defence spokesman disclosed that movements in Maiduguri and environs had been restricted, while citizens were enjoined to report any of the fleeing insurgents, most of whom could be identified with gunshot wounds whenever they were sighted.

Reacting to the development, Borno State government and the 7 Division of Nigerian Army have imposed a 24-hour curfew in Maiduguri, the state capital, following the attack.

A statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Ambassador Ahmad Jiddah, said the curfew took effect from 11.00 a.m. on Monday and appealed to residents to remain calm until situation was brought under control.

The statement added that vehicles on emergency calls and essential services would, however, be allowed during the period.

It also said the curfew would be lifted as soon as the situation improves.

Meanwhile, normal flights operations to and from the Maiduguri Airport, which were earlier temporarily disrupted, has resumed.

However, Nigerian Tribune gathered from authoritative military sources that the decommissioned aircraft were MIG 21 that had earlier been marked for Nigerian Airforce museum in Abuja.

Maiduguri airport not bombed by Boko Haram —FAAN spokesman
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), on Monday, said the December 2 attack in some parts of Maiduguri by suspected Boko Haram members did not affect the Maiduguri International Airport.

Mr Yakubu Dati, the Authority’s General Manager, Corporate Communications, said this in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

He said the attack only affected some areas around the vicinity of the airport.

“There was no bombing at the Maiduguri Airport, but it only happened around the airport vicinity.

“The airport has been closed for flights, and relevant security situation are on the ground to take full charge,” Dati said.

Aircraft insurance premium may go up
Information gathered on Monday indicated that most of the airlines operating in the troubled areas in the northern part of the country may review their flight activities, for the fear of the aircraft being attacked in the face of the Boko Haram onslaught.

This came as the Murtala Muhammed Airport was, on Monday, thrown into confusion when news filtered in that Boko Haram had attacked the Maiduguri airport.

The news, which created tension among key players in the industry, threw everyone off balance, following the rumour that the sect did not only attack the Air Force base and the airport, but also set two aircraft ablaze.

The news sent fears down the spines of many domestic airline operators who believed that if it was true that two aircraft were torched by the sect, the development may have put a question mark on the safety of other aircraft flying around the country’s airports.

Fears are, however, being raised among the various domestic airline owners that the attack on the airports may make the insurance companies increase the insurance premium for aircraft being used or acquired by the Nigerian airline owners.

An airline chief, who spoke to the Nigerian Tribune on condition of anonymity, said with the attack on the Air Force base at the airport, any airline flying into the airport henceforth may be seen by the insurer as operating under high risk, which subsequently attracts high premium.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Boko Haram Bombs Military Units Near Maiduguri International Airport.


 

By Saharareporters, New York

Dreaded Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram today bombed several military units near the Maiduguri International Airport, eyewitnesses say.

About 300 sect members successfully attacked the an Airforce base in the area in an attack that started around 3:00 AM Nigeria time.

The attack described as the most audacious, caught the Joint Task Force off guard and has led to a total ban on human and vehicular movement in the state capital.

An official of the Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria based in Lagos who did not want to be named said the sect members did not succeed in an attempt to burn down the International Airport.

Efforts to get official comment from federal aviation officials proved abortive as they declined answering their phones.

Shocked by the monumental attacks around the Maiduguri Airport and other military facilities in Maiduguri town today Governor Kashim Shettima has imposed a 2- hour curfew in the state.

The statement issued on behalf of the governor by Secretary to Borno State Government, Alhaji Baba Ahmed Jidda sent to SaharaReporters  stated that the action was carried out after due consultation with military authorities.

Maiduguri International Airport Closed After Boko Haram Raid On Air Force Base.


 

By Saharareporters, New York

Operations at the Maiduguri International Airport have been suspended and the Joint Task Force has taken over the airport following a raid on nearby military units by Boko Haram.

Residents of Maiduguri said the Islamist militant sect attacked the Nigerian Air Force base in the early hours of today in attempt to overrun the entire city of Maiduguri.  About 300 militants were reported to have arrived in pickup trucks with heavy weaponry

Several explosives were hauled at the base but Air Force personnel reportedly repelled the militants, killing several of them.

There is no word on casualties on the side of the military. Mobile telephone lines have been shut down since President Goodluck Jonathan imposed a state of emergency on three states, including Borno, in May.

A spokesperson for the ministry of Aviation, Yakubu Datti confirmed the closure of the airport to SaharaReporters, but he denied the airport was affected in the attack.

Similarly, SaharaReporters can exclusively reports that negligence on security measures advised following Boko Haram renewed insurgency is one of the reasons that largely made today’s attack possible by the sect.

The Nigerian military despite its denial are fighting the Boko Haram sect with obsolete weapons that are less inferior to that of the sect’s sophistication, and also poorly remuneration for the troops on the war front.

A military source confirmed that for over month, both the Federal Government and the higher military command have been advised on the need to station detachment of counter-terrorist troops around Sahara Desert with sole aim of crushing Boko Haram Islamic sect in view of the sect penetration in Nigeria through several borders with Niger Republic, Cameroon and Chad.

Yobe state, which is second stronghold of the sect, also had international borders with Zinder and Diffa regions of Niger Republic.

The formation of a military base, according to the source remained most viable option in containing the increasingly strength of the sect, who are getting training, support and other logistic support in the un-policed deserts that stretch from Algeria and Mauritania up to Niger and Chad.

The source who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “It has become imperative for us to submit our candid position as military with sole responsibility of preserving Nigeria’s sovereignty. The terrorists find their way into Borno and Yobe via our porous borders. And their main planning and training is in the desert, afterwards they sneak into their camps inside Nigeria and so instead of waiting, we are proposing that we have full military base in the desert that would comprise both land and air operations.

“This is our submission to the government; it is dangerous waiting for them. They are becoming more sophisticated and organize by the day, and so we must move forward. Their trainees and those providing them with logistics are right inside the desert between Niger Republic and Chad.”, the source said.

Boko Haram kills 159 in Borno roadside attacks.


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No fewer than 159 people have been killed by suspected members of Boko Haram in three roadside attacks this week along Maiduguri– Biu federal highway, officials have said.

This is as seven people were feared killed as security operatives bombard a hideout of suspected sect members in Abuja. In the first attack, on Tuesday, Boko Haram guerrillas wearing army uniforms stopped traffic on a highway between the cities of Maiduguri and Damaturu, dragging people out of their vehicles and killing them, with 143 bodies recovered so far.

Violence in the North- East area of the country has intensified over the past two months, as the sect fight back against a military operation that started in May to try to crush their four-year-old rebellion.

 

Tuesday’s toll was initially given as “more than 20”, but information often takes days to trickle out of the remote and sparsely populated region, where roads are bad, curfews are in force and the military has cut the phone network since May. “We have been picking corpses off the roadsides all day, there are more in the bush,” said Abdulazeez Kolomi, an Environmental Protection Agency official in Benisheik village. “They are all travellers slaughtered by Boko Haram gunmen. We have so far picked up 143 corpses.”

On Thursday, following a similar pattern, Boko Haram insurgents killed at least 16 people in an attack on travellers plying a highway from Maiduguri to Bamboa, a police source collecting bodies on the scene told Reuters.

This is even as our correspondent observed that there was a heavy concentration of Vigilante Youths (a.k.a Civilian JTF) on the streets of Maiduguri metropolis following intelligence report that the terrorists had issued letters of threat to attack some of the communities at the weekend. It was gathered that the terrorists numbering over 50 with sophisticated weapons barricaded the Maiduguri -Damaturu highway on the two occasions stopping motorists and passengers, particularly those they believed were heading to Maiduguri for international flight to Saudi Arabia for the 2013 Hajj exercise which was launched by the Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo in Maiduguri last Saturday.

An unconfirmed report revealed that following the incident, Yobe State government had suspended its earlier plan to airlift its pilgrims from Maiduguri International Airport. It therefore resolved to use Kano International Airport.

It was also gathered from a reliable source that the same group of gunmen that unleashed terror in some parts of the state were those who intercepted motorists and a commercial bank bullion van with security escorts along Maiduguri- Damboa Road killing eight people on Thursday before killing 26 other people on Friday some few metres away from Bulabulin Ngaura Village. Mallam Musa Ali, a members of vigilante youths who also accompanied some of the security operatives to Limanti said, “we were able to convey over 30 corpses from the scene of the incident, including some women who were lucky to have not been killed by the terrorists, but we found them in traumatic condition, which I believe will be attended to by medical personnel.”

The Borno State Assembly member representing Damboa constituency, Alhaji Lawan Ayamu Gwasha, confirmed the attack to newsmen in Maiduguri saying “my people reported to me from the village that many people were killed on Thursday and Friday by gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram sect members.”

Owing to lack of communication network which was closed down for the past four months, both the Police Commissioner, Lawal Tanko and the acting spokesman of the newly established 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maiduguri, Sagir Musa, could not be reached for confirmation.

Meanwhile, seven persons suspected to be members of the Boko Haram terrorist group were yesterday feared killed when a full complement of security operatives stormed an uncompleted building located behind Apo Legislators Quarters in Abuja.

The incident happened at Zone E, just 100 metres behind the mosque of the Apo Legislators Quarters, just as members of the sect were reported to have killed no fewer than 34 in persons made up of motorists and passengers plying Maiduguri-Biu federal highway in Limanti Village of Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State on Thursday and Friday.

The Abuja operation which occurred at about 12:30am yesterday reportedly saw 17 suspects injured and the arrest of 200 others, some of who were said to have been rounded up at different locations in the territory.

Earlier reports placed casualty figures at between nine and 12, however, a visit to the Asokoro General Hospital revealed that seven bodies had been deposited in the morgue. In a swift reaction, Deputy Director, Public Relations in the Department of State Service, Marilyn Ogar, who was at the scene denied knowledge of any deaths, but said while several persons were injured, 12 were arrested.

According to her, the incident occurred in the early hours of the day when a combined team of security operatives went for an operation behind the Apo Legislators’ Quarters. She said the operation was sequel to information obtained from two Boko Haram elements Kamal Abdullahi and Mohammed Adamu, who had earlier been arrested by the DSS for terrorist activities.

They led the security team to uncompleted buildings where arms were purported to have been buried underground. Ogar added that the two suspects had forewarned security operatives that they were most likely to come under fierce resistance by their members in the building.

She denied allegations of extra-judicial killings, saying security operatives came under gun attack when they attempted to exhume the buried weapons and so they had to use their firepower to rein the hoodlums.

“No sooner had the team commenced digging for the arms, than they came under heavy gunfire attack by other Boko Haram elements within the area, which prompted immediate response from the security team. “As a result, some persons were injured and 12 others have been arrested in connection with the incident, and are making useful statements”, she said.

While reiterating the need for Nigerians to be more aware of their immediate environment and promptly report suspicious activities to security agencies, the DSS spokesperson said the place had been rendered safe and normalcy had returned to the area. “Members of the public are advised to go about their normal businesses, as appropriate security measures have been emplaced to ensure the safety of citizens in the FCT”, she added.

Both Abdullahi and Adamu told Saturday Mirror in an interview that they belonged to an armed group known as “Youth Forum” and that they often hid their weapons in the building and as well carry out their meetings within the premises.

They said the building belonged to an army general who had earlier given a quit notice to the illegal occupants, some of who were Rickshaw (Keke NAPEP) operators.

“But our colleagues decided that since there was no better place to stay within the city, they would approach the security guard in the compound for assistance.

The plan worked because it was agreed that each night, everyone would pay N200 to the guard in order to sleep there,” said Abdullahi. According to the Department of Development Control in the Federal Capital Territory FCT Administration, there are currently 480 uncompleted buildings within the city centre -a situation which poses a lot of security risk to the nation’s capital.

A resident of the area who did not want his name mentioned, told our correspondent that the position of the security operatives was a complete baloney. He said: “It happened at about 12 midnight. Some armed soldiers came. There are some uncompleted buildings in the area.

The area is Apo Zone E in Legislative Quarters. It is not far from the mosque. “It’s just about 100 meters from the mosque. As I’m speaking to you right now, the policemen there are more than 40. They’ve gathered over 200 Hausa boys.

They killed over 12 unarmed people. There are still some magazines of soldiers littered everywhere. “Maybe the police have carried the 12 corpses to the morgue. Maybe somebody alerted the security guys that the boys are suspected Boko Haram members. They’ve never harmed anybody since we started staying there. They’re not even stolen anything from anyone.

“What we just learnt is that the owner of the uncompleted building has been warning them not to live in that house. He has been threatening them. “The policemen arrived there around 7.15 this morning after the soldiers raided the place.

Those soldiers came around 12 midnight and were just shooting sporadically till 2 am. We couldn’t sleep.”

Source: Radio Biafra.

36 killed as Boko Haram attack Borno & Plateau.


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No fewer than 34 motorists and passengers plying the Maiduguri– Biu federal Highway road were reportedly killed between Thursday and early hours of yesterday in Limanti Village, Konduga Local Government Area of Borno state.

Two people were also allegedly killed in the early hours of yesterday in a fresh attack in Nbiyak village, Kadarko District in Wase Local Government Area of Plateau State, bringing the number of people killed in the two states within the period to 36.

Limanti is about 50 kilometres from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital where many motorists and passengers were abducted and killed last week by suspected members of Boko Haram insurgents.

 

Saturday Vanguard also gathered that there was heavy concentration of Vigilante Youths a.k.a Civilian JTF on the streets of Maiduguri metropolis following intelligence report that Boko Haram had issued threat letters of another deadly attack on some wards/ communities over the week end.

It was gathered that the terrorists numbering over 50 and armed with sophisticated weapons barricaded the Maiduguri – Damaturu Highway between the period with the intention of stopping motorists and passengers, particularly those they believed were heading to Maiduguri to board flight at the Maiduguri International Airport for the 2013 Hajj exercise which was launched by the Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo in Maiduguri last Saturday.

Unconfirmed reports said that following the renewed attack, the Yobe State government has suspended its earlier plan to airlift its pilgrims from the Maiduguri International Airport as it has resolved that its intending pilgrims would now take off at the Kano International Airport.

The motorists killed by the gunmen included some security personnel on bank escort duty.

Mallam Musa Ali, a member of vigilante youths who also accompanied some of the security operatives to Limanti said, ” we were able to convey over 30 corpses from the scene of the incident. We also, evacuated some women who were lucky not to have been killed by the terrorists.”

The Borno State Assembly member representing Damboa Constituency, Alhaji Lawan Gwasha confirmed the attack to newsmen in Maiduguri saying “my people reported to me from the village that many people were killed on Thursday and Friday by gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram sect members.

The state Police Commissioner, Lawal Tanko and the acting Spokesman of the newly established 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maiduguri, Sagir Musa could not be reached for their comments on the issue at press time.

In Jos, PlateauState, gunmen numbering about 20 also attacked Nbiyak village, setting several houses on fire and shooting sporadically as the residents made efforts to escape.

The attack according to the source who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the attack lasted for about an hour, leaving two people, one man and one woman dead.

“There had been rumor that some people suspected to be Fulani were planning to attack our village, we reported the rumor to security agencies in the area but they ignored the threat.

“The attack was actually carried out as rumored and they killed two people. I also know some people are missing and have not been found,” the source said.

Spokesman of the Special Task Force, STF, keeping the peace in the state, Captain Salisu Mustapha told Saturday Vanguard on telephone that he was yet to be briefed on the development.

He said, “Honestly, I can not confirm the report now because I am just on my way to Jos. Yours is the second call on this issue and I am trying to find out which of the villages was involved and other details.”

By Ndahi Marama & Marie-Therese Nanlong, Jos

Source: Radio Biafra.

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