Dozens of militants have been reportedly killed in the Arepo area of Ogun State, Southwest Nigeria over the weekend as the military intensified aerial bombardment of the area which is the base of militants and pipeline vandals.
It was reported that the heavy aerial attack lasted for about 30 minutes and no less than eight missiles were fired by a fighter jet across the creek at intervals, bringing all activities to a halt and sending shivers down the spines of residents.
A resident of the area who spoke toTHE PUNCH newspaper on condition of anonymity, said that he lay flat in his apartment during the attack.
He said, “I was alone in the house with my son. The boy shook with fright every time a missile landed. I carried him and lay flat on the floor. The missiles shook the whole ground. I am not sure if I would continue to live here because of this. My landlord left with his family yesterday.”
Another resident in the area asked the military to intensify attacks on the militants, adding that the men could regroup and cause greater havoc if given a breathing space.
He said, “The military should deploy secret officials in Ibafo, Pakuro, Wawa and other villages. I believe those places will be their next hideouts. They must not be given any breathing space. If they are allowed to regroup, there will be serious problems.”
The acting Director of Defence Information, Rabe Abubakar, a Brigadier-General, confirmed the air strikes.
“The joint operation will continue until the area is secure and free from all forms of unwanted and criminal gangs whether they are militants or vandals. We have taken some camps. The casualties cannot be confirmed but I know that we were able to target some of their camps and locations,” he said.
He assured that the military would ensure the destruction of more camps in the ongoing operation.