“A Nigerian Air Force (NAF) helicopter conveying personnel on medical outreach programme at Gwoza yesterday came under attack by members of the Boko Haram Terrorist (BHT) group”, the Air Force said in a statement.
The Mi-17 helicopter was shot at severally by the insurgents, injuring one airman.
The helicopter had departed from Maiduguri enroute the venue of the 2-day medical outreach programme in Gwoza when it came under attack by the insurgents.
“Nevertheless, the pilot was able to fly the helicopter safely to and from its destination to enable the outreach programme continue uninterrupted,” the Air Force.
It said “following the attack, the NAF immediately scrambled a fighter aircraft and helicopter gunship to the location between Bama and Gwoza to neutralise the threat. Intelligent report by ground troops confirmed scores of BHTs were killed, signifying that the air attack on the threat location was successful”.
The NAF has been conducting medical outreach in the North East as part of its humanitarian support to Internally Displaced Persons. The latest of this effort was in Gwoza. This follows a similar effort undertaken recently for IDPs in Lagos area.
Boko Haram has killed many soldiers in Nigeria and Cameroon in recent weeks and days. Only today, three Cameroonian soldiers were killed in the country’s far north when their vehicle climbed a landmine planted by the terrorists, a day after another Cameroonian soldier was killed in Borno state.
about a week ago, seven Nigerian soldiers were killed in an ambush in Borno, 19 others were injured. It was said several were kidnapped. These attacks have multiplied in recent weeks, putting a lie to claims that Boko Haram has been defeated.