NAF Names Officers In Missing Aircraft As Boko Haram Faction Claims Responsibility

The Nigerian Air Force has named the officers involved in the crashed aircraft in the North East.

The aircraft was initially reported missing on Wednesday, while providing close air support to ground troops in Borno State.

According to a statement by the director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, the cause of the crash and whereabouts of the two crew men was still unknown.

But the air force named the pilots as Flight Lieutenant John Abolarinwa and Flight Lieutenant Ebiakpo Chapele.

“Intelligence report gathered by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) indicates that the Alpha Jet aircraft (NAF475) which went off the radar with two crew members on board on 31st March, 2021, might have crashed.

“The cause of the crash, as well as the whereabouts of the two pilots, remain unknown. The pilots are Flight Lieutenant John Abolarinwa and Flight Lieutenant Ebiakpo Chapele,” NAF said in the statement.

Meanwhile a faction of the Boko Haram terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the crashed plane.

Abubakar Shekau-led faction of Boko Haram, Jama’atu Ahlussunnah Lidda’awati Wal Jihad, yesterday released footage of it shooting down the missing Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Alpha Jet Aircraft.
The terrorist group in a video released on Friday claimed its members shot down the jet.

In the video, the group also showed fighters carrying RPG and artillery equipment, as well as a corpse of the pilot and the aircraft’s debris.
Also in the video, a ball of explosion covered a Nigerian Air Force Alpha Jet.

The seven minutes, 30 seconds-long video showed the Alpha Jet flying low over a battlefield arena with multiple Boko Haram fighters engaging in fierce and uncoordinated firefights.

The insurgents could be seen firing what was likely a heavy machine gun (anti-aircraft gun) towards the combat aircraft. Then the footage of a fireball explosion could be seen, as the Alpha Jet headed rapidly towards the ground.

Fighters subsequently moved to the area of the crash and began removing components of the aircraft and the pilots’ personal belongings.

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