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NAF fighter jet was not shot down by Boko Haram-Gbkwet

Tada Jutha, Maiduguri

NAF fighter jet was not shot down by Boko Haram-Gbkwet

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has said that its Alpha fighter jet marked NAF 475 was not shot down last Wednesday by Boko Haram terrorists in Sambisa Forest of Borno.

The jet was reported missing in the forest on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, after losing radar contact with the air force base, Maiduguri, the state capital.

While denying the alleged false report in a statement Saturday in Maiduguri, NAF’s Director of Public Relations, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet disclosed: “Our attention has been drawn to some videos being circulated on Social Media and media reports; alleging that the NAF Alpha Jet aircraft which was reported missing, was shot down by terrorists.

“One of such videos, in particular, began with sporadic shooting by several terrorists, including underage children on motorcycles and vehicles.

“The video later skipped abruptly to a scene depicting an aircraft exploding mid-air, supposedly as a result of enemy action.”

Continuing, he added: “Another part of the video showed a terrorist, who, while standing by the wreckage, claimed that they had shot down the NAF aircraft.”

He said the video is still being thoroughly analyzed, as it is evident that most parts of the video were deliberately doctored to give a false impression that the jet was shot down.

While citing falsehood of video, he said: “The Boko Haram video clip failed to show the correlation between the sporadic shooting,” noting that even from casual observation, it was obviously aimed at ground targets, which led to sudden mid-air explosion of the aircraft.

“It is almost impossible for an aircraft to have exploded mid-air, in the manner depicted in the video,” he said.

According to him, the purported grounded aircraft in the video still have a good part of its fuselage, including its tail intact.

He said an explosive impact of that nature would have scattered the debris of the aircraft across several kilometres.

He said the terrorists in their characteristic manner of employing false propaganda, are seeking to claim credit for what was obviously an air accident.

He said aircraft’s crash could have been caused by several reasons; particularly at a time when the capability of the terror group to inflict mayhem has been significantly degraded by the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

He, therefore, urged the people to ignore the content of the videos making rounds until the investigations of fighter jet crash are completed.

“We remain resolute and will continue to work assiduously, in synergy with other security agencies to rid the Northeast of terrorists,” he said.

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