The Nigerian Air Force on Saturday raided the hideout home of notorious terror kingpin, Bello Turji located in Fakai community of Shinkafi area, Zamfara State, during a naming ceremony and killed number of his (Turji) fighters
Penpushing reports that, those in attendance at the naming ceremony, which include Turji’s relatives were caught unaware by the bombardment, with at least 12 fighters gunned down, but as at the time of filing this report the whereabout of the terrorist kingpin was unknown
The heartless kingpin in known for leading his terror group to carry out attacks on communities, killing many and kidnapping others, but it could not be ascertained if he (Turji) was a casualty of the aerial raid as at the time of this report
Penpushing further reports that, an Air Force source at the Forward Operation Base in neighbouring Katsina, who pleaded for anonymity when contacted also confirmed the raid, and the killing of number the bandits
The senior airforce officer said the notorious kingpin’s whereabouts were still unknown as of Sunday morning, while a former councillor in Fakai community, in response to the raid said the terrorists were inside an uncompleted mosque when the soldiers struck.
“I left the community for some personal business in Shinkafi around 1:58 p.m but didn’t reach my destination when I started receiving calls that the community was under attack. My family thought it was bandits that were attacking but then they called to say it was the air force. I could hear the roaring of the jets’, he said
Penpushing also reports that, the politician who doesn’t want his name mentioned for security reason confirmed that those who were killed were militias (men and women) who were inside the mosque, claiming that Turji was not in the town during the attack.
“If he (Mr Turji) is in the town, everyone knows because you’ll see his fighters with sophisticated weapons protecting his house. The naming was conducted in the morning while the normal women’s event was yet to start in the evening,” he added.
Penpushing reports that, in similar vein, another resident who also prefer anonymity said he was evacuated his family members to the local government headquarters, Shinkafi, recalling that the raid was deadly
“It was very deadly. I saw the bandits running while we were trying to hide outside the community. Everyone was confused but thanks to God that the jets didn’t stay for long, it would have affected some of us, innocent residents,” he said.
Penpushing further reports that the community leader added that as of Saturday night, after the raid, there was no record of civilian casualties, insisting that only people of the notorious terror kingpin were killed.
The authorities of the Airforce were yet to issue official statement on the development, but a senior source at Air Force Forward Operation Base in Katsina , the attack was not limited to Turji’s camp, adding that the raid started on Wednesday
“Not only his (Mr Turji’s) camp. We’ve been launching attacks since last Wednesday. The air force had been monitoring the community since Friday. And when we had clear information, we moved in but unfortunately, he was not caught in the buildings we attacked.”
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