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Nigeria fighter airplane shot down by bandits – navy

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A Nigerian fighter jet

A spokesman says the pilot survived by ejecting himself and hiding with native residents (archive picture dated 2020)

A airplane searching kidnappers in northern Nigeria has been shot down by felony gangs, the navy says.

A spokesman for the Nigerian Air Power stated the Alpha Jet had accomplished a profitable raid when it got here underneath intense fireplace on Sunday.

He stated the pilot, Flight Lt Abayomi Dairo, ejected and used “survival instincts” to keep away from seize and discover shelter with native residents.

The assault occurred on the border of Zamfara and Kaduna states.

Armed gangs – referred to regionally as “bandits” – have been blamed for a spate of latest kidnappings on this a part of north-western Nigeria.

College students and schoolchildren have been particularly focused – greater than 1,000 have been kidnapped since December. Most have since been freed, reportedly after ransoms have been paid, however some have been killed.

In latest days, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the navy to do all it takes to flush out felony components within the states of Katsina, Zamfara and Kaduna.

The Nigerian Air Power stated it had mounted intensive day and night time air operations in opposition to the bandits and their hideouts, particularly in these three states, in collaboration with floor forces. It was in one of many operations that the fighter jet was introduced down on Sunday.

“By means of these intensive air operations, a whole bunch of bandits have been neutralised and several other of their hideouts destroyed,” the Nigerian Air Power stated in an announcement.

Whereas there have been a number of navy airplane crashes this yr, that is the primary reported case of armed gangs downing one.

Map

Map

There was shock in Might in Nigeria when the Military chief, Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, was killed in a airplane crash alongside 10 different officers.

Again in April one other Alpha Jet crashed in Borno state – one of many areas the place Boko Haram militants are most energetic. Reviews that it was shot down by the jihadists have been denied by the navy.

Earlier than that in February, a navy plane in Abuja that was certain for Niger state to seek for kidnapped schoolchildren there crashed – killing all seven folks on board.

The nation has purchased 12 A-29 Tremendous Tucano aircrafts from the US at a value of $496m (£350m) – and is about to obtain the primary six this month.

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