Islamic militants Boko Haram repeatedly fired at a Nigeria Air Force helicopter on a humanitarian mission in the North East and severely wounded an Air Force officer.
Air Force Director of Public Relations and Information Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa, confirmed the attack on Thursday. A fighter jet and helicopter gunship were immediately scrambled and retaliated, killing scores of the insurgents at the located threat.
He said the Mi-17 transport helicopter was carrying medical personnel from Maiduguri city to treat refugees in the Gwoza area when it came under repeated fire on Wednesday.
But the pilot was able to continue the flight safely and the attack didn’t interrupt a two-day medical outreach program.
“The Mi-17 helicopter was shot at severally by the insurgents however there was no casualty except for an airman that sustained bullet wound”
Mr. Famuyiwa said the helicopter was “conveying personnel on medical outreach programme at Gwoza” when it was attacked by the insurgents.
“The helicopter had departed from Maiduguri enroute the venue of the 2-day medical outreach programme in Gwoza when it came under attack by the insurgents.”
“Nevertheless, the pilot was able to fly the helicopter safely to and from its destination to enable the outreach programme continue uninterrupted.”
“Following the attack, the NAF immediately scrambled a fighter aircraft and helicopter gunship to the location between Bama and Gwoza to neutralise the threat.”
The UN Security Council has revealed it will be visiting Nigeria within the next few weeks to discuss strategies for combating the Boko Haram insurgents and have a first-hand view of the humanitarian situation in the North East region.
The Deputy Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General, Farhan Haq, confirmed in New York that the visit would take place in March.
Mr. Haq regretted the negative consequences of the insurgency on the country and the people but gave the assurance that the UN would continue to support Nigeria in and work with the country in its efforts to overcome the challenges.
Mr. Haq said:
“I believe, in the coming days, the Security Council itself does intend to visit Nigeria and see for itself the humanitarian situation and evaluate it first-hand.”
“The Security Council will be going to Nigeria to assess the humanitarian situation caused by Boko Haram.The visit will be coming up in March”