The Nigerian government forces will buy Czech tanks, amphibious vehicles and rocket launchers to fight the militant Islamist group Boko Haram.
According to Daily Mladá fronta Dnes (MfD), the spokesman of Excalibur Group, Andrej Čírtek, revealed that the Czech arms dealer is expected to deliver modernized Soviet-made tanks T-72 M1 and 16 other vehicles, BMP armored infantry fighting vehicles and rocket launchers to an African country.
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He said the heavy arms come from sales of redundant equipment of the armies of the former Warsaw Pact.
Meanwhile, Czech Defense and Security Industry Association head Jiří Hynek confirmed the destination of the weapons to be Nigeria.
“The tanks had to be delivered quickly so that the Nigerian army had vehicles to fight with,” Hynek told MfD.
However, it was gathered from an unofficial source that the military vehicles will be sold for more than $8 million. A huge Antonov An-225 Mriya transport plane landed in Ostrava, north Moravia, to carry the arms to Nigeria.
The aircraft which is expected to make three flights to Africa is to deliver the first part of the equipment within a few days. The world‘s largest cargo plane will make three trips with tanks and other armored vehicles.
Boko Haram which started its uprising against the Nigerian government in 2009 was founded in 2002. In 2014, the extremist sect reportedly killed no fewer than 3,000 people while in the last five years the it has killed approximately 13,000 people.
The United Nations in a recent repprt puts the number of people that fled their houses over fears of attack from the sect at 1.5 million.
Meanwhile, new security reports reveal that Boko Haram militants may be planning a massive attack on Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State any time soon.
Recall that attempts to recapture Monguno, Borno State, which was attacked during the weekend by Boko Haram militants was reportedly unsuccessful.
However, some locals recently corroborated the findings by Amnesty International that the military command in Monguno had advance warning of the Boko Haram attacks on 25 January. But the military headquarters failed to take adequate action to protect civilians.