After months of evading security forces, a notorious armed bandit, Alhaji Abdulkareem Lawal, and 27 others have been eliminated by aggressive bombardments of the Nigerian military airstrikes in Katsina State, on Saturday evening.
Abdulkareem Lawal, who is popularly called Abdulkareem Boss, by his criminal colleagues, was a high-valued target on the radar of the Nigerian Military and other security agencies for a while.
The precision airstrikes came barely a week after the Service Chiefs, at the last National Security Council meeting, reassured President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians that there would be a change in strategy and momentum in the fight against insurgency and terrorism and the Chief of the Air Staff’s directive to Nigerian Air Force (NAF) operational and air component commanders to ‘show no mercy’ in decimating terrorists and insurgents in the country.
The wanted criminal was based in the Marina area of Safana Local Government Area, and was responsible for several terrorist attacks, animal rustling and kidnappings.
Boss was known to regularly invite terrorist groups from other areas and regions to join him in attacks on targets.
Specifically, he was part of the terrorist group that carried out attacks that eventually led to the death of the Nigerian Police Area Commander of Dutsin Ma on 5 July, 2022.
Confirming the killing of Abdulkareem Boss a Military intelligence officer, said that the terror kingpin was neutralized in a precision strike alongside 27 of his foot soldiers, at Rugu Forest.
In a related development, similar bombardments were also conducted on terrorists’ hideouts around Abuja.
According to credible intelligence, threats within Abuja was being orchestrated by terrorists from their hideouts within Kaduna, Niger and Zamfara States.
“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 LGA 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,” a military air commander added.
The operations were aimed at forestalling them from further planning to cause mayhem within Kaduna and Niger States as well as surroundings around the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
When contacted on the latest developments, the Spokesperson of the Nigerian Airforce Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet said that the successes of the air strikes underscore indefatigable commitment of the military to rid the entire Northern region as well as the FCT of terrorism in collaboration with other security agencies and restoring peace and sanity.
He added that “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.”