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    Search begins for Air Force jet missing in Boko Haram action

    Four soldiers feared killed by bandits
    Gunmen attack ex-minister’s home
    The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has raised a search and rescue team for its missing Alpha-Jet.

    The fighter jet with two crew members lost contact with radar around 5pm on Wednesday. It was on an interdiction mission in support of ground troops in the ongoing counter-insurgency operations in Borno State, where Boko Haram is hottest.

    Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Oladayo Amao visited Borno State where he was briefed on the incident.

    Also Thursday, five soldiers and a Nigeria Security and Civil Defence (NSDC) personnel were feared killed by bandits who attacked two communities in Niger State.

    Two security personnel attached to a former Minister of Sports, Damishi Sango, and a boy, narrowly escaped death when armed men struck at Sango’s residence in Vom, Plateau State.

    NAF Director of Public Relations and Information Edward Gabkwet told The Nation that NAF had begun the search for the missing fighter jet.

    Gabkwet also dismissed insinuations that the aircraft was gunned down by terrorists.

    He said: “Rescue and search mission has started and whatever we find out will be made public. So we should discountenance with all the insinuations,” he added.

    They yesterday, bandits who struck at a military camp in Allawa, Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State, were belived to have killed four soldiers, an NSDC operative and vigilance group member.

    Some military vehicles were said to have been burnt by the gunmen. They injured some operatives before escaping.

    A source said the bandits stormed the Allawa camp of the Joint Security Task Force at “about 2 a.m yesterday and opened fire on the troops.”

    He said:”Some of the bandits came with AK-47. They operated for some time without any resistance from security forces. They killed four soldiers, an NSDC officer, and a vigilante before fleeing on their motorcycles.

    “Many of the injured operatives have been hospitalised. They even set the camp and some military vehicles on fire.”

    It was gathered that the bandits on Wednesday struck at Manta, Gurmana, Bassa, and Kokki where they kidnapped 10 persons and killed somebody.

    Another source, speaking on the Bassa attack said: “They killed Alhaji Sale, kidnapped four people, and injured many others. We don’t know where they took the kidnapped persons to. We are worried. Something urgent has to be done to protect us from these marauders.”

    The Co-convener, Concerned Shiroro Youths, Sani Kokki, said the security personnel at Allawa camp were taken unaware.

    “The Allawa military camp was burnt down by the bandits and many officers sustained gunshot injuries,” he added.

    The President, Shiroro Youth Movement, Sani Idris, Mohammed Idris, appealed to the government to double their efforts in protecting residents of the affected communities.

    As at 8 pm yesterday, police spokesman Wasiu Abiodun could not be reached for comment as his telephone rang out. He also did not respond to text messages sent to him.

    In Plateau State, the bandits who attacked the home of the former Sports minister, seized rifles from the shot security details.

    Spokesman of police in the state, Gabriel Ubah, who confirmed the incident, said the injured policemen and the boy were receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital.

    Ubah added: “I am not aware yet whether they were dispossessed of their rifles. The command is aware of the incident at Riyom and the victims have been rushed to the hospital where they are receiving treatment.

    “The former minister and his family were not hurt.”

    He added that “a team of detectives and intelligence officers have already commenced investigation and manhunt for the criminals.”
    SOUCRE: THE NATION

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