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HomeNaija NewsSociety NewsSorrow As Army Mistakenly Bombs Kaduna Villagers

Sorrow As Army Mistakenly Bombs Kaduna Villagers

Residents, civil society and religious groups have expressed shock over the killing of several residents of Kaduna village in an airstrike by the Nigerian Army.

The residents, who spoke to Leadership yesterday, claimed that the airstrike killed over 80 of their relatives and seriously injured 50 others when the army mistakenly dropped a bomb on a group of worshippers during the Maulud festival on Sunday night at Tudumbiri village in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

According to a reporter who visited the emergency ward of Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital in Kaduna State yesterday, over 50 people injured in the strike are being treated while the seriously injured have been referred for surgery.

Most of the injured are children and women.

A reliable local government source (on condition of anonymity) told our sources that over 83 people were killed when the bomb was dropped on the crowd and exploded.

The number of injured totaled 53.

The incident which occurred around 9pm on Sunday was initially suspected to have been carried out by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), but a statement from the military command revealed that the NAF had not carried out any such operation in the last 24 hours in Kaduna State and its environs….[CONTINUE READING HERE]>>

The Nigerian Army has acknowledged the incident but has been silent on the number of casualties from last night and the death toll could be even higher.

The Kaduna State Government, which confirmed the incident, said the Nigerian Army admitted that it carried out the operation in error, leading to the death of the villagers.

In a statement issued after a special security meeting in Kaduna yesterday afternoon and signed by the Commissioner for Interior, Samuel Alwan, the state government said it was informed of the attack on Sunday night.

According to Alwan, at a meeting chaired by the Deputy Governor, Hadiza Sabwa Balarabe, and attended by security chiefs, religious and traditional leaders, the Nigerian Army explained the circumstances that led to the unfortunate and unintended attack.

Major General W.U. Okoro, Commander of the 1st Division of the Nigerian Army, explained that the Nigerian Army was on a routine mission to fight terrorists but inadvertently influenced members of the community.

At the end of the closed-door meeting, the deputy governor conveyed the condolences of the Kaduna State Government and the people of the state to the bereaved families and prayed for the repose of the souls of the victims.

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The meeting was attended by top security officials, including the Inspector General of Police, M.Y. Garba, and the Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Abdul Eneche.

Prof. Shafi’u Abdullahi, head of the Kaduna State chapter of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), led other religious leaders who attended the meeting.

Also present at the meeting was Alhaji Aminu Idris, the district chief of Rigasa.

Shettima Yerima, chairman of the Area Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), condemned the “unjust killing of innocent people.”

In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Muhammad Lawal Shehu, Governor Sani said he was saddened by the shocking news that several Muslims were unintentionally killed and injured in a drone operation by the Nigerian Army on Sunday, December 3, 2023. President Sani immediately convened an emergency security meeting attended by the Nigerian Army, the Inspector General of Police, the Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS) and the heads of the Kaduna State chapter of the JNI and ordered a thorough investigation to prevent any further incident.

I have ordered an immediate investigation into this tragic incident. “We intend to prevent a recurrence of this tragedy and assure the public that their protection will be a priority in the ongoing fight against terrorists, bandits and other criminal organizations.

I have also ordered the immediate evacuation of the injured to the Balau Dikko Teaching Hospital for emergency treatment. The government will be responsible for their treatment and appropriate logistical support,” Governor Sani said….[CONTINUE READING HERE]>>

While appealing for calm in the affected areas, Governor Sani added: “Search and rescue operations in the area are ongoing. The state government has deployed senior officials to the area who will assess the situation, contact the bereaved families and advise the government on urgent actions and measures to be taken to alleviate the suffering of the victims’ families.”

The governor, on behalf of the people of Kaduna State, expressed condolences to the families of the victims and prayed for the full and speedy recovery of the injured who are being treated at the Balau Dikko Teaching Hospital.

In conclusion, the governor said: “The Kaduna State Government regrets the loss of lives and is committed to ensuring that its people continue to live without fear and conduct legitimate businesses.”

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The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) yesterday described Sunday’s “accidental” explosion by the military during an operation to eliminate bandits in Kaduna village as a matter of grave concern for the safety and welfare of civilians in the conflict zone.

In a statement by its spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, the Forum called for a thorough investigation into the Tudun Biri incident.

NEF understands that the Kaduna State government has gone ahead and promised to compensate the victims of the strike. However, a thorough investigation is necessary not only to compensate the victims, but also to ensure justice for the affected civilians, prevent future incidents and uphold the principles of human rights and international humanitarian law.

By clarifying the causes and circumstances of the incident, it can be determined whether negligence or wrongdoing occurred and those responsible can be held accountable.

This will provide victims with a sense of closure and compensation, as well as build trust between the military and the civilian population.” A thorough investigation into these incidents is necessary to ensure that similar incidents do not occur again in the future.

By analyzing the circumstances leading up to the tragedy, we will be able to identify systemic flaws, inadequate training, and improper procedures that may have caused the incident. Armed with this knowledge, the military will be able to implement necessary reforms such as improved coordination, enhanced intelligence gathering, and stricter enforcement of rules of engagement.”

NEF says these measures will minimize the risk of accidental explosions and protect civilian lives during military operations. The investigations are consistent with the principles of human rights and international humanitarian law.

These legal frameworks emphasize the need to protect civilians during armed conflict and require states to conduct impartial investigations into alleged violations.”

NEF therefore mourns this unfortunate and regrettable incident for the families of the affected civilians as well as the Kaduna State Government. AYCF condemned the “mistaken bombing” of the villagers and emphasized that such unintentional bombings could have been avoided if information gathering had been effective.

It is particularly sad that the security services, whose primary duty is to protect life and property, use “mistakes” as an excuse to kill residents.

We call on the government to conduct a thorough investigation into this “mistake” which could have been avoided if it had been the result of intelligence gathering. Those responsible for this ‘mistake’ should be forced to explain beyond reasonable doubt how people engaged in religious activities could have been mistaken for terrorists.”

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We extend our condolences to the families of the victims and pray to God for the speedy recovery of the injured. We have had enough of the unjust killings of innocent people by those who are supposed to protect them,” Yerima said.

Also yesterday, the Kaduna State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said it was shocked by the news of the false bombing by the Nigerian military.

In a statement issued by its president, John Joseph Hayabu, CAN sympathized with the Muslim Ummah over the sad incident, even though many of the victims were said to have been celebrating Maulud.

CAN extends its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families, Tudun Biri community, the good people of Igabi area, the Emir of Zazzau and the state government.

CAN prays for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives in the incident and wishes a speedy recovery to those who were injured and are undergoing treatment.”

Mr. Hayab said it was unfortunate that such a misdirected bombing occurred, especially at a time when security agencies and Nigerians are working tirelessly to protect the country from criminals who kill, kidnap, loot and destroy the property of innocent citizens.

We were not involved in the airstrike on Kaduna – NAF

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has denied her involvement in the allegations that some villagers were killed some as a result of an airstrike in Kaduna State.

The Director of Public Relations and Intelligence, Air Chief Marshal Edward Gabukwet, said contrary to reports, the NAF had not carried out any airstrikes in Kaduna in the last 24 hours.

The narrative on the streets that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) aircraft accidentally killed innocent civilians in Kaduna is false.

The Nigerian Air Force has not carried out any airstrikes in Kaduna State and its environs in the last 24 hours.”

It should also be noted that the NAF is not the only organization operating combat drones in northwest Nigeria.

It is important that the media should always exercise due caution before reporting unverified and unconfirmed reports.”….[CONTINUE READING HERE]>>

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