Picture: Nigerian Army via AFP

Johannesburg - A Nigerian Air Force (NAF) helicopter crashed in combat on Wednesday night while providing close air support to troops of 145 Battalion at Damasak in Northern Borno State as the military continues its fight against Boko Haram militants, Vanguard reported on Thursday.

Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, the Director of Public Relations and Information, said the helicopter which had earlier been reported as missing had crashed into a lagoon during counter-insurgency operations. NAF has over a dozen Russian-made helicopters.

The exact cause of the crash and the number of military personnel affected remain unclear as investigations are still underway.

“As soon as the details of the crash are known, they will be made available to the public,” Daramola said.

The crash happened hours after Operation Lafiya Dole, carried out by the Air Task Force (ATF), destroyed a building being used as a meeting venue by Boko Haram fighters near Baga in northern Borno State. 

Following the strike on the building, the Nigerian military said the occupants had been neutralised.

African News Agency (ANA)