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Nigerian air force says videos of militants shooting down jet doctored

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-04-03 18:31

LAGOS - The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on Friday night said that videos being circulated on social media showing its missing Alpha jet shot down by Boko Haram militants were doctored.

Edward Gabkwet, a spokesperson for the NAF, said in a statement on Friday night that most parts of those videos were "deliberately doctored to give the false impression that the aircraft was shot down."

Singling out one such video, Gabkwet said 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.

"It is obvious that the Boko Haram Sect, in its characteristic manner of employing false propaganda, is seeking to claim credit for what was obviously an air accident that could have been caused by several other reasons," he said.

He urged Nigerians to ignore the contents of the videos until all investigations as to how the aircraft crashed are completed.

The air force spokesperson said in a statement earlier on Friday that an intelligence report indicated the Alpha jet that went off the radar with two crew members on board on Wednesday "might have crashed."

However, the cause of the crash and the whereabouts of the two pilots remain unknown, he said, adding that extensive search and rescue efforts are still 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," he said.

The NAF on Thursday confirmed that one of its Alpha jets lost radar contact in an operation in the northeast state of Borno on Wednesday.

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