Inside Nigeria

Nigeria Air Force Admits ‘Erroneously’ Bombing Yobe Villagers

...Begins Probe

The Nigeria Air Force on Thursday,  admitted carrying out the ill-fated bombing of Buhari Village in Yunusari Local Government of Yobe State where 10 people were killed and over a score hospitalised.

The Air Force  denied responsibility for the bombing on Wednesday as many attributed the incident to the Nigerien Air Force.

The Nigeria Air Force, in its initial response to reports of the attack on Wednesday said: “This tweet is false in its entirety. The NAF last conducted a mission into Yobe State (Not Yunusari LGA) on 5 September 2021 and it was an armed recce. No bomb or missile was even expended. Thanks.”

But less than 24 hours after its denial, the Nigeria Air Force said its operatives carried out the bombing.

In a statement by its spokesman Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, the Nigeria Air Force on Thursday said: “Following intelligence on Boko Haram/ISWAP movements along the Kamadougou Yobe River line, an aircraft from the Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai was detailed to respond to the suspected terrorists activities in the area along the Nigeria/Niger border at about 0600hrs on 15 September 2021.

“The aircraft while operating South of Kanama observed suspicious movement consistent with Boko Haram terrorists behaviour whenever a Jet aircraft is overhead.

“Accordingly, the pilot fired some probing shots. It is important to state that the area is well known for continuous Boko Haram /ISWAP activities.

“Unfortunately reports reaching Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Headquarters alleged that some civilians were erroneously killed while others were injured.

“Initial release denying the involvement of NAF aircraft was based on the first report available to the Air Component which was subsequently forwarded to NAF headquarters that civilians were bombed as the aircraft detailed for the mission was not carrying bombs.

“Therefore a Board of Inquiry has been set up to thoroughly investigate the circumstances of the incident.”

Yobe Governor Mai Mala Buni commiserated with families of the deceased.

In a statement by his Director General, Press Affairs, Mamman Muhammad, the Governor also called for a full investigation of the matter to forestall future mistakes.

Governor Buni directed his Special Adviser on Security Affairs to liaise with the Nigeria Air Force and the Multi National Joint Task Force, to unravel the unfortunate Air strike on the innocent villagers.


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