West African Jihadist group known as Boko Haram admitted to have been responsible for the destruction of the “missing” Airforce jet, and the death of two pilots.
Nigerian authorities had earlier announced the missing air force fighter jet in Borno State while embarking on a mission to support ground troops, since on Wednesday.
Boko Haram on Friday evening released a video in Hausa language, showing what appeared to be a plane as it exploded in mid air; also showed the remains of a man, who was described as the pilot of the plane, by a Boko harram fighter who spoke in the local Hausa language.
The 7-minute video clip showed the Alpha jet flying low over a battle field arena with multiple Boko Haram fighters engaging in fierce and uncoordinated fights.
The insurgents could be seen firing what was likely a heavy machine gun (anticraft gun) towards the combat aircraft, then the footage of a fire ball could be seen, as the Alpha jet headed towards the ground.
Subsequently, fighters moved to the area of the crash and began removing components of the aircraft and the pilots belongings.
The video also showed a masked fighter armed with belt fed machines gun standing on the aircraft debris, speaking both Arabic and English.
The incident raises concern for safety both military and humanitarian aircraft flying over conflicting zone.
Earlier on Friday, the Airforce spokesperson Air Commodore Edward Gabkinet said that the Alpha Jet lost contact on radar in Borno State “while on interdiction mission in support of ground troops.
“At this point, the NAF is not ruling out anything regarding the incident. It however remains hopeful that the crew would soon be found and rescued,” he said in a statement before the insurgents released the video.
The Airforce Director of Public Relations and Information, revealed the identities of the pilot as fighter Lieutenant John Abolarinwa and flight Lieutenant Ebiakpo Chapelle.
Lolo Ijeoma Njoku reporting, Obinwannem News