Nigerian Fighter Plane Shot Down by Bandits

Bandits in Nigeria shot down a fighter plane on July 18, howver the pilot survived by ejecting from the aircraft, the country’s air force said.

The Nigerian Air Force said on July 19 that one of its planes “came under intense fire” from armed gangs — locally referred to as bandits — on the border of the northern Zamfara and Kaduna states when it was returning to base after a mission.

According to Air Force Spokesperson Edward Gabkwet, the pilot, Flight Lieutenant Abayomi Dairo, used his “survival instincts” to escape and evade, eventually finding an army base “where he was finally rescued.”

The attack was the first reported case of bandits shooting down a military plane in Nigeria.

According to the air force, the mission that the downed plane was returning from was one of the military operations against bandits, which was directed by President Muhammadu Buhari in recent days in the Zamfara, Kaduna and Katsina states.

The military had reported that they “neutralized” hundreds of bandits, who have been blamed for recent kidnappings of students in the area.

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