Pilot escapes as bandits shoot down military jet

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Military authorities are picking up the puzzles of an air attack by bandits which Sunday shot down a Nigerian Air Force Alpha Jet aircraft over Zamfara State.

There were reports of a crash involving military aircraft though it was earlier denied by the Nigerian Air Force.

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However, in a statement on Monday, Spokesman of NAF, Edward Gabkwet, said a military jet was attacked while returning from an air interdiction mission between the boundaries of Zamfara and Kaduna States.

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He said the pilot and all other occupants were rescued, saying the gallant pilot of the aircraft, Flight Lieutenant Abayomi Dairo, successfully ejected from the aircraft.

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“On July 18, 2021, around 12.45 pm, a Nigerian Air Force Alpha Jet aircraft, returning from a successful air interdiction mission between the boundaries of Zamfara and Kaduna states, came under intense enemy fire which led to its crash in Zamfara State.

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“Luckily, the gallant pilot of the aircraft, Flight Lieutenant Abayomi Dairo, successfully ejected from the aircraft. Using his survival instincts, the pilot, who came under intense ground fire from the bandits, was able to evade them and sought refuge in nearby settlements awaiting sunset.

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“Using the cover of darkness and his phone set for navigation, Flight Lieutenant Dairo was able to elude several bandits’ strongholds and maneuvered his way to a Nigerian Army Unit, where he was finally rescued.

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“It is instructive to note that upon receipt of the news of the crash, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, had directed that all efforts must be made to rescue the pilot.”

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