A woman and her four children have reportedly been killed by airstrikes targeted at bandits in Sububu village, Zamfara State.
Daily Trust quoted sources who said that aircrafts belonging to the Nigerian Air Force was targeting bandits at the vast Sububu Forest located between Shinkafi and Maradun Local Government Areas when the unfortunate incident happened.
The forest is said to be one of the major hideouts of bandits in Zamfara.
Bandits are said to have launched attacks on travelers on Sokoto-Gusau Road, as well as villages in Sokoto and Zamfara States.
The aerial missions were conducted around 2:00pm on Monday, the newspaper also said.
The newspaper said four sources confirmed that the fighter jets missed their targets by dropping bombs on the Sububu village, rather than the bandits’ enclave in the forest.
“The bombs killed a woman and her four children. Two of the kids, a boy and a girl, were teenagers. One elderly woman was also wounded in the attacks,” a Sububu resident was quoted as saying.
He said a new mosque built by bandits’ kingpin, Halilu Sububu, was also destroyed in the airstrikes.
The source said nobody was killed in the mosque because the aerial bombardment occurred after worshippers had observed the afternoon prayers.
Another source said there was suspicion that the jets used the GPS coordinates of some expensive smartphones stolen from Sokoto that were being charged at the village.
“You know they own Sububu (village). Nobody goes there, not even security personnel and other officials,” he added.
Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, NAF spokesperson, confirmed the multiple airstrikes on the area to PRNigeria, an online PR platform which usually shares official security press statements, but he did not mention the deaths of the victims.
The platform reported that about 120 bandits were killed by the airstrikes.
Gabkwet said the military carried out “the precision airstrikes on the armed bandits after an intelligence and identification of the locations to avoid collateral damages.”