Boko Haram militant group has claimed it shot down the missing Alpha Jet belonging to the Nigeria Air Force (NAF).
Earlier today, the NAF had said that the missing jet might have crashed.
According to NAF, the jet was on a mission to support troops fighting militants in northeastern Borno state when it lost contact with the base control on Wednesday.
In an unverified video released on a Boko Haram social media channel, a militant was shown purportedly standing on a wrecked jet with the Nigerian flag with number NAF 475 on its fuselage.
“Nigeria air force jet fighter… was sent to Sambisa to fight the Mujahideen,” the militant reportedly said.
NAF in a statement released by the spokesperson, Edward Gabkwet, on Friday had said that the cause of the crash and the whereabouts of the two crew onboard were unknown.
His statement reads, “Search and rescue efforts are still ongoing by NAF surveillance aircraft as well as NAF Special Forces and Nigerian Army troops on ground.
“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 would be recalled that Boko Haram in 2014 shot down a jet belonging to the Nigerian Air Force and showed a video where it claimed it has beheaded its pilot.
Since the Islamist insurgency broke out in 2009, the conflict has killed around 36,000 people in the region and displaced some two million from their homes.
The violence has also spread to neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
The Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) split from Boko Haram in 2016 and has since become a prominent threat, attacking soldiers and bases while killing and kidnapping civilians.