Bandits claim responsibility for NAF helicopter crash as army begins inquest

Bandits claim responsibility for NAF helicopter crash as army begins inquest

In a newly released video, bandits have taken credit for the recent crash of a Nigeria Air Force (NAF) surveillance helicopter.

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The incident occurred in the Badna region of Chukuba ward, located within Niger State’s Shiroro Local Government Area.

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While the NAF initially reported that the MI-171 helicopter crashed during a casualty evacuation mission and launched an investigation into the cause, the bandits have released a video asserting their involvement.

Unveiling the Bandit Claim

In a video lasting two minutes and seventeen seconds, the bandits claimed responsibility for downing the helicopter using AK47 rifles.

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A thorough analysis of the video was conducted by our fact-check team, revealing that the video is recent and does not match any existing content online.

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This lack of similarity suggests the video’s authenticity, though we cannot independently verify the bandits’ claim regarding the use of AK-47 rifles to down the helicopter.

Possible Perpetrators

The narrator in the video spoke in Hausa and identified the group as “Dogo Gide,” a notorious bandit faction responsible for numerous attacks and fatalities among farmers and security personnel in Niger State.

This announcement comes in the wake of a report detailing the killing of 21 soldiers during a bandit ambush along the Zungeru-Tegina Road.

Sources indicate that 53 bandits were also eliminated during the ensuing confrontation.

Air chief explains reasons for helicopter crashes

Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, the Chief of Air Staff, addressed the issue of the helicopter crashes attributing them to seasonal challenges related to weather conditions.H

Heemphasized the ongoing efforts to minimize incidents and accidents and highlighted the adoption of safety management systems and operational risk management procedures across all operations.

Abubakar acknowledged the difficulties posed by changing weather patterns, such as the impact of rain and harmattan, on operational capabilities.

Despite these challenges, he affirmed the commitment of the Nigerian Air Force and the Armed Forces to combat security threats posed by non-state actors.

Governor of Niger urges enhanced security measures

Niger State Governor Umar Bago extended condolences to the military for the losses inflicted on it due to the insurgency.

He urged the Nigerian Air Force to remain steadfast in their efforts and proposed the deployment of fighter planes and detachment to Minna airport to enable quicker responses to advancing enemies.

Governor Bago also offered accommodations near the Minna airport to support the air force personnel’s efforts and safety.

“The bandits’ claim of responsibility for the helicopter crash adds a new layer of complexity to ongoing security challenges in Niger State.

“As investigations continue, the Nigerian Air Force strives to navigate operational hurdles caused by varying weather conditions.

“The government’s plea for enhanced security measures underscores the importance of a collaborative approach in addressing these threats and ensuring the safety of the region,” a security analyst, Mohammed Tanko said.


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