Nigerian fighter jet missing; Boko Haram claims attack

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigerian authorities said an air force fighter jet lost contact days ago in Borno state while on a mission to support ground troops.

The jihadist group Boko Haram released a video Friday saying it shot down the jet, according to SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist activity.

Boko Haram released a video that showed what appeared to be a plane as it exploded midair. The video also showed the remains of a man who was described as the pilot of the plane by a Boko Haram fighter who spoke in the local Hausa language.

The Nigerian Air Force inscription on the plane matches the registration number of the Alpha-Jet which the Air Force said went missing during combat Wednesday.

Air Force Spokesman Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet said in a statement that the Alpha-Jet lost contact with radar in Borno State “while on interdiction mission in support of ground troops.”

The Air Force said Friday the plane which had two crew members might have crashed, adding that search and rescue efforts are ongoing.

“At this point, the NAF is not ruling out anything regarding the incident. It however remains hopeful that the crew would soon be found and rescued,” it said in a statement.

Boko Haram has killed tens of thousands of people in its more than 10 year insurgency, which has also spread to neighboring Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

The Nigerian-based jihadist group in 2014 also said it shot down a Nigerian air force jet.

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