Terrorist group, Boko Haram, has disclosed that its fighters shot Nigerian Air Force fighter jet that went missing during the week.
The group claimed that the action had been carried out in sending strong signals to the Nigerian Government that the insurgents can still wreack havoc across the country.
Through a video clip released online on Friday, the group noted that more decisive action would be taken against the Nigerian military.
In Boko Haram’s video, the wreckage of a plane lies burned on the ground, the charred fuselage bearing the phrase “NAF 475.”
A masked fighter stands atop the wreckage and identifies the plane as “jet fighter of the Nigerian Air Force 475”, the footage shows. Later, a mangled corpse is shown in military fatigues.
“As you can see, this is the pilot of your aircraft, whom you sent to harm the servant of god,” the fighter says. “This is what god did to him. He fell from the sky, and if you do not repent this will be your reward.”
It would be recalled that the Alpha light attack jet was on a mission to support troops fighting militants in northeastern Borno state when it lost radar contact on Wednesday.
In a statement earlier on Friday, the air force had said: “the Alpha Jet aircraft (NAF475) that went off the radar with 2 crew members on board on 31 March 2021 might have crashed. The cause of the crash as well as the whereabouts of the 2 pilots remain unknown.”
Nigeria’s military have been battling jihadists in the northeast of the country for more than a decade and have recently been fighting them in their stronghold in Sambisa forest in Borno state.
The loss of Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Alpha Jet 475 dealt a blow to Nigeria’s efforts to combat jihadist insurgencies in the northeast, where airpower has been crucial in attempts to stem the spread of Boko Haram and its more powerful offshoot, Islamic State West Africa Province.
Soldiers have for years relied on jet bombardments to turn the tide of battles against the insurgents, while the air force often claims successful strikes on the militants.