Three commanders of the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) have reportedly been killed in military airstrikes in Borno State.
One of the leaders slain in the operation was Amir Bashir, a sniper known as Iblis (the devil).
Bashir is an ISWAP marksman who engages targets from cover, according to Zagazola Makama, a journalist specialising in the Lake Chad area.
The other two leaders believed to have perished in the attack were Mallam Chiroma, his second in command, and Muhammed Balge, the head prosecutor of ISWAP.
According to reports, the Air Task Force (ATF) element of operation Hadin Kai coordinated the strikes.
It was further learnt that the Wednesday airstrikes were directed against terrorist hideouts in Kangarwa, Jibularam, and Rino, in Marte and Kukawa LGA of Borno State.
Sources quoted by Zagazola Makama, said “the first damaging air interdiction targeted a hideout of the terrorists and a training camp in Rinu, killing an unspecified number of the fighters.”
“In another feat, which followed a credible and actionable intelligence obtained by the air component of Operation Hadin Kai, the troops neutralized many terrorists moving in two vehicles in the axis of Kangarwa in Kukawa LGA,” one of the sources was quoted.
“On receipt of the distress call, NAF aircraft immediately scrambled to the location where they intercepted and neutralised several terrorists.
“Troops deployment around the area revealed that the terrorists suffered heavy casualties from the airstrikes.”
Another military source was quoted to have said the air force, “operating in concert with surface forces, will sustain its offensives against the terrorists in the north-east.”
The development comes a day after ISWAP reportedly buried 26 of its members in Ngala LGA of Borno.
The ISWAP members were killed on September 9 by coordinated air strikes carried out by the Nigerian military.
The strikes were conducted on two camps of the insurgents in Yarwa Kuwa and Sigir areas in Borno.