– The Nigerian army killed about 114 suspected militants in the attack on their camps in the south-west
– One of the sources ask military to continue attacks as militants may regroup and cause greater havoc
Military attack on Arepo
The source has revealed that at least 114 suspected Niger Delta militants are feared killed and scores of others wounded in attacks on their camps in Ogun and Lagos states.
The Nigerian army, Air Force and Navy, commenced the bombardment on July 28 under the operation “Crocodile Laugh” in readiness for a showdown with militants in the Niger Delta.
Brig Gen Rabe Abubakar, director of the defence information, confirmed the operation.
The Punch reporter has said that he counted at least eight missiles fired by a fighter jet, which flew across the creek at intervals. Another airplane was seen hovering around the area.
Residents, who were informed about the operation, ran for their safety due to the ground-shaking effects of the missiles.
One of the local who was on the road when the shots were fired said the July 30 attack was more intense than previous air raids.
She said: “The air raid started on Thursday evening. It was just a missile that was released, but the effect was serious. On Friday evening, another airplane which flew across the creek released gunfire which lasted for some minutes. I could hear the shots as if they were fired close at me. But the Thursday and Friday attacks were child’s play compared with that of today (Saturday).
“The aircraft releasing the missiles had three short wings with a sharp mouth. It maintained a visible presence in the sky and anytime it wanted to fire, it flew down as if it was about to crash. I never knew the military had such a weapon.”
Another local, who also asked not to be named, said that he lay flat in his apartment during the attack.
“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,” he said.
A source close to the militants revealed that the missiles leveled the base of the militants, continuing that more than 100 people were killed.
He said: “The whole place has been leveled. From the information I just gathered, those killed today (Saturday) cannot be less than 100. I am aware that some of them (the militants) are presently in the waters where they are hiding. They are making calls and seeking escape routes from the place.”
Another source supposed that the militants could regroup and cause greater havoc if given a breathing space.
“The heat is on them. One of them said it was because of the kidnap of a monarch in Lagos (Oniba of Iba) that the missile attack was intensified,” he said.
“He said he had asked his colleagues to release the monarch, but they didn’t listen. I am aware that the monarch will be released between today and tomorrow, if he has not been killed.
“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.”
Watch the video of the attack below:
As a part of the deal, Nnamdi Kanu and other imprisoned activists may be freed if the attacks stopped.
At the same time, the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Alli, has said that government cannot rule out the use of force in dealing with militants.