Nigerian Military airstrikes on Saturday killed the armed bandit warlord, Alhaji Abdulkareem Lawal and 27 others in President Muhammadu Buhari’s home state, Katsina.
The media reports that Lawal popularly called Abdulkareem Boss, had been top on the wanted list of the Nigerian Military and other security agencies for a while.
It was gathered that the precision airstrikes came barely a week after the Service Chiefs at the last National Security Council meeting reassured President Buhari and Nigerians that there would be a change in strategy and momentum in the fight against insurgency and terrorism.
The Chief of Air Staff issued a directive to Nigerian Air Force (NAF) operational and air component commanders to ‘show no mercy’ in neutralising terrorists and bandits in the country.
According to reports, Lawal was based in the Marina area of Safana Local Government Area where he was responsible for several attacks, cattle rustling and kidnappings.
The terrorist who was known to regularly invite terrorist groups from other areas and regions to join him in attacks on targets was part of the terrorist group that carried out attacks in which the Police Area Commander of Dutsin Ma was killed on July 5, 2022.
An anonymous intelligence military officer who confirmed Lawal’s killing to our correspondent said the bandit warlord was killed in a precision strike alongside 27 of his foot soldiers at Rugu Forest.
Read Also : The Economics, Politics And Hypocrisy Of Abuja-Kaduna Train Victims Release
It was also learnt that similar airstrikes were carried out on terrorists’ hideouts around Abuja, the Nigerian capital.
It was gathered that the current security threats and attacks within and around Abuja were being orchestrated by terrorists from hideouts within Kaduna, Niger and Zamfara states.
A military air commander was quoted as saying that “In view of this, NAF aircraft under Operation Whirl Punch were dispatched to undertake intensive air interdiction operation to degrade/neutralize the terrorists within their identified hideouts in Giwa, Birnin Gwari, Kajuru and Chikun LGA in Kaduna State and Kusasu, Kwaki and Kukere local government areas in Niger State.
“So far, the identified locations hit by NAF aircraft include Jan Birni, Kusasu, Kauwuri, Kwaki, Ukambo Hill within the Kwiambana Forest as well as Alhaji Chorki Location.
“These locations have been attacked decisively and were struck in successive passes until they went into flames, some casualties who were spotted to be struggling to scamper for safety were effectively mopped up.”
He explained that the operations were aimed at forestalling terrorists from carrying out further attacks within Kaduna and Niger states as well as the FCT and its environs.
Also speaking on the operation, the Nigerian Airforce Air Commodore, Edward Gabkwet, said that the success of the airstrikes was proof of the commitment of the military to rid the entire Northern region as well as the FCT of terrorists in collaboration with other security agencies to restore peace and sanity in the region and across the country.
“Operational commanders have also been told to sustain the momentum and ensure they minimize, to the barest minimum, the freedom of movement of terrorists and insurgents,” he said.