The Abubakar Shekau-led faction of Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a crash involving an alpha jet operated by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).

aircraft, NAF 475, went off the radar on Wednesday evening.

The jet was on a mission to provide support for troops on the ground fighting Boko Haram insurgents.

Earlier on Friday, Edward Gabkwet, the NAF spokesperson, had said the whereabouts of the two flying officers piloting the jet was unknown.
“Intelligence report gathered by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) indicates that the Alpha Jet aircraft (NAF475) that went off the radar with 2 crew members on board on 31 March 2021 might have crashed,” he had said.

He gave the names of the missing pilots as John Abolarinwa and Ebiakpo Chapele.

He also added that extensive search-and-rescue efforts are ongoing by NAF surveillance aircraft, as well as air force special forces and Nigerian army troops on the ground.
In the video released by Boko Haram on Friday, suspected insurgents are seen engaging the jet, which appears to be flying at low range, in a gunfight.

The insurgents are armed with machine guns, especially ones that seem to be anti-aircraft weapons.

As soon as the jet crashes, the insurgents move towards the debris, and start removing components from the jet.

The alpha jet is a highly-advanced aircraft built for close-air support combat capabilities.

NAF spokesperson was not immediately available to comment on the development.