The Nigerian army lost 12 officers, including its leader, Lieutenant-General Ibrahim Attahiru, in a plane crash on Friday, May 21, after an official visit to Kaduna State, the country’s north, said the spokesman for the Air Force.
This is a big blow to the Nigerian military. The air force plane crashed on the runway at Kaduna airport around 6 p.m., killing 12 officers, including army chief Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, said Nigerian Air Force spokesman General Edward Gabkwet, who confirmed the incident in a tweet.
“The crash of an Air Force plane occurred in the early evening around Kaduna International Airport. The causes of the accident are not immediately known,” said the Air Force in a statement. However, it should be noted that this is the third Nigerian Air Force plane crash in three months.
Last March, a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) plane disappeared after flying over the northeast of the country, where the army is fighting Boko Haram rebels.
Appointed last January, Lieutenant-General Ibrahim Attahiru played a front-line role in fighting against Islamist groups that sow terror in this country. Two days before the crash, the jihadist group Boko Haram Abubakar Shekau was seriously injured in the northeast of the country following a clash with fighters from a rival jihadist group.
According to the different sources from Nigeria, the head of the Boko Haram group, Abubakar Shekau, “had committed suicide during confrontations with a group affiliated with the Daesh organization in Africa”.
The newspaper described Shekau as “one of the most brutal and formidable terrorists in the world” and a “fundamentalist warlord” because he succeeded in transforming Boko Haram from an obscure terrorist group into a jihadist army.