The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has refuted a claim by Boko Haram that it shot down the missing fighter jet.
The air force had earlier declared the jet went missing during an operation against the terrorists in Borno on Wednesday.
On Thursday, the Air Force said the jet may have crashed but the cause of the crash was yet to be ascertained. It also named the two pilots in the jet who were still missing.
A video released by the terrorist group on social media on Friday claimed it shot down the Alpha jet.
However, in his statement late Friday, spokesperson of the Nigerian Air force, Edward Gabkwet, said the video was mere propaganda.
The attention of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has been drawn to some videos being circulated on Social Media, as well as media reports drawn therefrom, alleging that the NAF Alpha Jet aircraft, which was reported missing in Borno State on 31 March 2021 after losing radar contact, was shot down by terrorists. One of such videos, in particular, began with sporadic shooting by several terrorists, including underaged children on motorcycles and vehicles. It later skipped abruptly to a scene depicting an aircraft exploding mid-air, supposedly as a result of enemy action. Another part of the video showed a terrorist, who, while standing by the wreckage, claimed that they had shot down the NAF aircraft.
Although the video is still being thoroughly analysed, it is evident that most parts of the video were deliberately doctored to give the false impression that the aircraft was shot down. For instance, the video clip failed to show the correlation between the sporadic shooting, which even from casual observation was obviously aimed at ground targets, and the sudden mid-air aircraft explosion. In addition, it is almost impossible for an aircraft to have exploded mid-air, in the manner depicted in the video, and still have a good part of its fuselage, including its tail, intact. Indeed, an explosive impact of that nature would have scattered the debris of the aircraft across several miles.