By Bashir Bello
KATSINA – The Nigeria Air Force, NAF, has on Tuesday joined forces in Katsina State to flush out kidnappers and armed bandits as it launches “Operation Tsaftar Daji” with the deployment of modern fighter jets.
The fighter jets deployed for the operation include Alpha jets, MI 35, Augusta, Bel 412 and some specialised surveillance aircrafts.
The Air officer commanding the special operation, AVM Napolean Bali while flagging up the operation at its command base in Katsina, said the operation was to provide backings and add value to the existing operation ‘Saharan Daji’ for the ground forces.
AVM Bali said it aimed to neutralize activities of the kidnappers and bandits in the dreaded Rugu forest, den of the kidnappers and bandits.
According to him, “the operation is designed to add value to the existing operation ‘Saharan Daji’ for the ground forces. The security forces have been putting in their best. However, the bandits have been changing their tactics, thereby killing and kidnapping innocent civilians.
“The Chief of Air Staff decided that there is the need to get more air access in Katsina, so that the airplanes will be able to reach areas where these bandits are hiding.
“We are going to dominate the air and simultaneously pound bandits hideouts to make it easier for our ground forces to go in and flush out bandits and criminals terrorizing people.
“The operation, which has the backing of President Muhammadu Buhari and the chief of Air staff, Air Marshal Abubakar Sadique, will be carried out diligently and shall minimise civilian casualties by following warfare procedures.
“The intelligence and cooperation from the locals was highly desirable in the final push.
“The operation will run alongside all the ongoing military operations of the air force and the army to ensure a resounding success and ending of kidnapping and armed banditry,” AVM Bali noted.
However, it would be recalled that of recent, Katsina state have been under security challenges ranging from kidnapping to armed banditry.