Nigerian Air Force Alpha jet on Monday crashed in Niamey, Niger Republic, killing two pilots, says Defence spokesman Brig.-Gen. Chiris Olukolade.
The two officers are Squadron Leader Adoo and Flying Officer Layelmenson.
Report says the jet, which crashed earlier today in Niger Republic, was involved in military operations against insurgents in Mali.
Chris Olukolade, the spokesman for the Defence Headquarters, confirmed the tragedy. He stated that the aircraft, an Alpha jet which was one of the four based in Niamey as part of the African-led Support Mission in Mali, was on a non-combat mission when it crashed.
Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa, JTF’s spokesman, added that investigations into the incident has begun and two key Boko Haram terrorists, Mohammed Ibn Saleh and Abdulkareem Ibrahim, have been pointed out as the brains behind the attack.
He added that an Investigation had begun “to unravel the circumstances that led to the accident”, adding that details would be made known as soon as the families of the pilots had been informed.
French and Chadian planes and US drones have used the Niamey airport as a base for their operations in Mali.
The 6,000-strong African-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA) has taken over the lead from France in supporting Mali’s army in the battle against Al-Qaeda-linked extremists.
A French-led operation launched in January drove the Islamists from key cities they had seized in northern Mali. But the Islamists have turned to suicide bombings and guerrilla attacks in reclaimed territory.