March 31, 2022

Rijana Train Attack: NAF aircrafts liquidate over 30 terrorists in multiple strikes

NAF trainer aircraft

**As Intelligence Agencies uncover Bandits/terrorist’s camps along the corridor

By: Kingsley Omonobi – Abuja

The aftermath of the Presidential directive to the Service Chiefs to go after the terrorists that attacked and bombed the rail track and the train ferrying hundreds of passengers on the Kaduna-Abuja line, Nigerian Airforce attack aircraft on Wednesday neutralized more than 30 of the terrorists in a forest between Kaduna and Niger States.

This is just as the Defence Intelligence Agency, headquarters, joint intelligence service has uncovered scores of makeshift facilities and forest settlements, serving as camps for armed bandits and kidnappers terrorising travellers along Abuja-Kaduna highway and train routes.

Sources said the airstrikes followed receipt of credible information showing that at about 2 pm on 30 March 2022, about 70 terrorists on 40 motorcycles and some on foot were sighted moving towards the Akilibu – Sarkin Pawa Road, near Mangoro Village.,

“Consequently, the Air Component of Operation Thunder Strike swiftly scrambled an aircraft to intercept and neutralize the terrorists.

“As the aircraft approached the scene, several terrorists were seen running in disarray on sighting the aircraft, abandoning their motorcycles to take cover within nearby bushes.

“The terrorists were subsequently engaged in different waves with rockets while those fleeing were mopped up with canons decisively.

“Feedback from local sources around Mangoro Village disclosed that 17 motorcycles including 34 dead bodies as well as 14 locally fabricated guns belonging to the terrorist were recovered.

“It is unclear if the terrorists were part of those that attacked and killed eight passengers days ago on board a Kaduna bound train.

“The military have been commended for their improved swiftness to emergencies but charged to ensure they apprehend those behind the murder of passengers of the Kaduna bound train.”

A security source said that after obtaining intelligence, the NAF aircraft engaged the terrorists in different waves with rockets while those fleeing were mopped up with canons decisively leading to the neutralization of 34 of the bandits which were counted during a mop-up operation.

Meanwhile, an emergency intelligence meeting coordinated by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) after the attack on an Abuja-Kaduna train identified three locations as ‘destinations’ of bandits after most attacks, within the axis.

Furthermore, the meeting considered the immediate deployment of integrated security surveillance and monitoring solutions for the rail line, especially at such identified locations/bandit dens at Rijana, Katari and Kasarami.

“These locations are abodes to kidnappers, armed bandits, drug addicts, gun runners, prostitutes and fleeing Boko Haram terrorists,” the source said.

While hinting that a ‘massive joint security operation’ will commence in the areas, simultaneously with the deployment of recently acquired drones, the source said: “Some of the services have recently acquired sophisticated Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, (drones) to improve surveillance and ensure precisions attacks on targets.

“We anticipate collateral damages in the initial stages of the operation even though we will ensure maximum protection of innocent citizens. Proper identification exercises of people in the areas would be conducted.

Vanguard News Nigeria