Nigerian warplanes are carrying out air strikes against Boko Haram militant bases in northeast Borno state, a senior official said on Friday, in a government counter-attack against the group’s apparent drive to create an Islamist enclave.
The official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters that Nigeria’s military was battling Boko Haram fighters at Bama, 70 km (45 miles) southeast of the Borno state capital Maiduguri.
Air strikes have been carried out “on all the Boko Haram bases”, the official said, adding this reflected President Goodluck Jonathan’s order for a “fully-fledged war” against the group which has waged a bloody insurgency since 2009.
He said that, “Bama today is the center of the military battle with the terrorists … Boko Haram is being repelled by the Nigerian troops as we are talking now.”
Nigeria’s air force and defense headquarters did not respond to requests for comment and it was not immediately possible to obtain independent confirmation of the fighting.