Friday, February 23, 2024

Government orders probe as Army claims responsibility for bombing of dozens of civilians in Kaduna community

The Nigerian Army has claimed responsibility for the bombing of some community residents during a Maulud Nabiy celebration at Tudun Biriin in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

The Army, however, said the airstrikes were inadvertent, saying operatives were targeting terrorists.

More than 30 residents were feared dead in the airstrikes on Sunday night while others sustained various injuries.

The Nigerian Air Force had earlier stated that it had not carried out any air operations within Kaduna State and environs in the last 24 hours, adding that it is not the only organisation operating combat armed drones in the North western region of Nigeria.

The NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Gabriel Gabkwet, had stated this in the military reaction to an incident of air strike on civilians in the state.

However, the Commissioner, Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Kaduna State, Samuel Aruwan, said in a statement on Monday that the Army claimed responsibility for the unfortunate incident.

“The Kaduna State Government has received briefings on Sunday night’s attack which left several citizens dead and others injured. In a meeting presided over by the Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe, which had in attendance heads of security agencies, religious and traditional leaders, the Nigerian Army explained the circumstances which led to the unfortunate and unintended attack.

“The General Officer Commanding One Division Nigerian Army, Major VU Okoro explained that the Nigerian Army was on a routine mission against terrorists but inadvertently affected members of the community,” the statement read in part.

Governor orders probe

Also, the Kaduna State Governor, Uba Sani, has described as shocking the Army bombing of Tudun Biri villagers in Igabi Local Government Area while celebrating Maulud on Sunday.

The governor said he had ordered a thorough investigation into the bombing to forestall future occurrences.

A statement by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mohammed Lawal-Shehu, quoted him as saying, “I have ordered immediate investigations into the tragic incident. We are determined to prevent a repeat of this tragedy and reassure our people that their protection will be prioritised in the sustained fight against terrorists, bandits and other criminal elements.

“I have also directed the immediate evacuation of the injured to the Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital for emergency medical attention. The government will be responsible for their treatment and related logistics.”

While appealing for calm in the affected communities, Sani stated that “search and rescue operations in the area are ongoing. The state government has dispatched top government officials to the area to assess the situation, reach out to the families of the victims and advise the government on the immediate actions and measures to be taken to lessen the pains of the families of the victims.”

The governor, on behalf of the state government, extended condolences to the victims” families, saying, “The Kaduna State Government regrets the loss of lives and remains committed to ensuring that residents continue to live and conduct their legitimate businesses without fear.”

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