The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, Major-General John Enenche, confirmed that security forces conducted airstrikes in the Dunya Forest area of Katsina state on Thursday, November 19, which resulted in at least 17 bandits killed and several others injured. The Air Component of Operation Hadarin Daji reportedly received intelligence regarding the presence of bandits in a camp in the forest. The facility and bandits were subsequently targeted; Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets and helicopter gunships were dispatched and engaged in an attack against the bandit positions. Portions of the camp were destroyed in the operation; the bandit camps are reportedly occupied by the Ansaru terrorist group which maintains a strong presence in parts of the North-West region.
Further security operations and armed banditry are possible in Katsina state in the near term.
Bandit attacks have become an increasing threat in northwest Nigeria in recent years amid rising communal tensions, with Katsina state having seen repeated outbreaks of such violence. High-profile security operations have previously had little success in reducing violence in the northwest.
Those in Katsina state are advised to monitor developments to the situation and adhere to all directives and advice issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
The security environment in Nigeria remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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