Nigerian Air Force buying new fighters, choppers

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — The chief of Nigeria's air force says it is buying new fighter jets and helicopters.

The air force has been pivotal in an offensive to curb an Islamic uprising in the northeast with near-daily bombing raids on insurgent hideouts in forests and caves along the border with Cameroon. Air Marshal Adesola Amosu said in a statement Wednesday that the government has approved the acquisition of fighter aircraft and helicopters as well as upgrades for some existing aircraft. The air force uses mainly Chinese Chengdu-F7 multi-role fighters and Russian Mi-35 attack helicopters. Amosu said C-130 and G-222 transport planes also are being used in the conflict.

Extremists destroyed two helicopter gunships and three decommissioned fighter jets in an attack on a base in the northeastern city of Maiduguri in December.

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