Defence & SecurityCrimeInsecurity & Crime

Terrorists’ kingpin, Alhaji Shanono, others killed in airstrikes

As CAS reviews air operations in Kaduna

By Paul Michael

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) said airstrikes carried out by its operatives on Tuesday, 9 August 2022, in Kaduna State have led to the killing of several terrorists and the destruction of their enclaves.

A popular terrorists’ kingpin, Alhaji Shanono was said to be meeting with his foot soldiers under a tree in Ukambo village, when the military struck, killing him and several others.

Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, disclosed this in a press statement in Abuja on Wednesday, saying that over 30 rifles and 20 motorbikes were destroyed while about
18 terrorists, including Alhaji Shanono, were killed with several others sustaining various degree of injuries.

Gabkwet also said 26 kidnapped victims earlier held by the terrorists were released as a result of the airstrikes.

He stated, “In the Northwest specifically, the effect of strikes undertaken by NAF aircraft have revealed that several terrorists’ have been eliminated and their enclaves destroyed. One of such strikes which occurred yesterday (Tuesday), 9 August 2022 resulted in the elimination of a well-known terrorist leader operating in Kaduna State.

“Indeed, following receipt of intelligence on 9 August 2022 that a well-known terrorists’ kingpin, Alhaji Shanono, had scheduled a meeting with his foot soldiers at Ukambo, a village about 131 km from Kaduna, the Air Component of Operation Whirl Punch dispatched aircraft for interdiction mission at the location.

“Overhead the location, terrorists were sighted under clusters of trees at the foot of Ukambo high ground and after ensuring the absence of civilian settlements within the location, the crew received the authorization to strike.

“Feedback from local sources disclosed that over 30 rifles and 20 motorbikes were destroyed while about 18 terrorists, including Alhaji Shanono, were neutralized while others sustained various degree of injuries. Sources also revealed that not less than 26 kidnapped victims earlier held by the terrorists were released as a result of the

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The Director of Information further disclosed several members of the terrorists groups, Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) were killed and injured by airstrikes launched on 6 August at Gazuwa, about 1.2 kilometers to Gargash in Borno State.

The two factional terrorist groups were said to be having infighting for relevance and supremacy when two NAF aircraft of the Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai launched the airstrikes.

“It should be noted that though the map coordinates led the pilots to the exact site of the infighting, the location also had an ISWAP flag hoisted on the structure and 3 solar panels on the rooftop.

“Intelligence received and corroborated by local sources revealed the strike was a success as the terrorists did not anticipate it with several eliminated and others injured.

“The impact of the strikes is said to have reverberated through the remaining terrorists’ camps who are beginning to realize that they are fighting an unjust and lost cause that will no doubt lead to their death. Most are said to be contemplating surrendering just like others before them,” Gabkwet stated.

Meanwhile, the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, was in Kaduna on Wednesday to review ongoing operations with the aim of giving further directives.

Air Marshal Amao, who was briefed on the successes of earlier directives that were given to the Operational Commanders, reminded the troops of the need to remain steadfast and focused on the task at hand.

“We can’t afford to let down our guards,” he said.

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