The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), has finally admitted the accidental killing of civilians in a Yobe State.
Channels Television had quoted residents of Kamadougou, Yobe State, as saying that eight villagers were killed and many wounded by gunfire from a NAF aircraft.
Haruna Ali, a resident of the community, said three Toyota Hilux took injured victims to Geidam General Hospital.
However, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, NAF spokesman, countered the claim, saying the last time personnel conducted a mission in Yobe was earlier this month and no bomb or missile was used.
“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,” Gabkwet had said.
But NAF has now made a U-turn, taking responsibility for the accidental shooting.
The spokesperson stated that some shot were fired from a military aircraft after movements of some Boko Haram terrorists were detected.
“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,” he said.
“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.”