Insurgent forces have publicly claimed responsibility for the recent Nigeria Air Force (NAF) helicopter crash in Niger State. The incident occurred in Badna, Chukuba ward of Shiroro Local Government Area on Monday. The claim was made through a video lasting two minutes and seventeen seconds, which was posted online.
Previously, the NAF had stated that its MI-171 helicopter, which was on a casualty evacuation mission, crashed close to Chukuba village. An investigation into the precise cause of the crash is underway.
The aircraft was reportedly ferrying injured soldiers, who had been wounded in an engagement with insurgent forces, to a military hospital in Kaduna State.
The insurgents in the video claimed to have used an AK47 to bring down the military helicopter. The video, which appears both recent and genuine, featured a narrator speaking in Hausa and claiming allegiance to the Dogo Gide group. This group has been notorious for causing havoc in parts of Niger State, leading to the deaths of numerous farmers and security personnel.
In light of recent counterterrorism efforts, 53 insurgent forces have been eliminated in the region. However, the day prior to the crash, Nigerian soldiers were reportedly ambushed, resulting in approximately 20 fatalities along the Zungeru-Tegina Road.
In related news, Nigeria’s president, Bola Tinubu, has expressed his condolences to the nation and the families of the soldiers who perished in the helicopter crash.
President Tinubu praised the soldiers’ commitment and loyalty to the nation, labeling them as national heroes. He expressed his condolences to their families, the Chief of Defence Staff, the Chief of Air Staff, the Chief of Army Staff, the Chief of Naval Staff, and the entire Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
SOURCE: Business Day
IMAGE: Neptune Prime