BREAKING: NAF Counters Boko Haram, Says Crashed Jet Not Shot Down By Insurgents

The Nigerian Air Force has countered Boko Haram over its claim that the NAF Alpha Jet aircraft recently declared missing by the air force was shot down by members of its insurgent group. 

In a viral social media video reportedly released by Boko Haram on Friday, a supposed member of the terrorist sect was seen claiming responsibility for shooting down the NAF jet. 

The video showed a man standing at the supposed scene of the crash with a rocket launcher hung around his neck. 

Supposed wreckage of the NAF aircraft and personal belongings of pilots and operatives on board were also captured in the video.

But reacting in a statement by its Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, the air force refuted the insurgents’ claim and described the videos as “doctored”. 

The NAF’s reaction reads: “The attention of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has been drawn to some videos being circulated on Social Media, as well as media reports drawn therefrom, alleging that the NAF Alpha Jet aircraft, which was reported missing in Borno State on 31 March 2021 after losing radar contact, was shot down by terrorists. One of such videos, in particular, began with sporadic shooting by several terrorists, including underaged children on motorcycles and vehicles. It later skipped abruptly to a scene depicting an aircraft exploding mid-air, supposedly as a result of enemy action. Another part of the video showed a terrorist, who, while standing by the wreckage, claimed that they had shot down the NAF aircraft.

Snapshot from video of crashed NAF jet allegedly brought down by Boko Haram insurgents

“Although the video is still being thoroughly analysed, it is evident that most parts of the video were deliberately doctored to give the false impression that the aircraft was shot down. For instance, the video clip failed to show the correlation between the sporadic shooting, which even from casual observation was obviously aimed at ground targets, and the sudden mid-air aircraft explosion. In addition, it is almost impossible for an aircraft to have exploded mid-air, in the manner depicted in the video, and still have a good part of its fuselage, including its tail, intact. Indeed, an explosive impact of that nature would have scattered the debris of the aircraft across several miles.

“It is obvious that the Boko Haram Sect, in its characteristic manner of employing false propaganda, is seeking to claim credit for what was obviously an air accident that could have been caused by several other reasons; particularly at a time when the capability of the group to inflict mayhem has been significantly degraded by the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

Snapshot from video of crashed NAF jet allegedly brought down by Boko Haram insurgents

“Consequently, Nigerians are please advised to ignore the contents of the videos making the rounds until all investigations as to how the aircraft crashed are completed. The NAF, on its part, remains resolute and will continue to work assiduously, in synergy with sister Services and other security agencies, to rid the North East of all terrorist elements.”

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