The Kaduna State government on Thursday debunked reports of an aerial attack by terrorists.
Newsbreak reports that in a statement signed by Samuel Aruwan, the Commissioner, Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Kaduna State, authorities said it was a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) helicopter that arrived to engage bandits.
Inhabitants of Adara community in the southern part of Kaduna State had said that about 32 persons lost their lives in an alleged helicopter-aided attack by terrorists, who razed houses, including Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in the area.
The District Head of Kufena, Titus Dauda, further disclosed that the victims have been laid to rest while the affected communities have been deserted by the residents due to fear of being attacked.
Reacting, the government’s statement reads in part: “The Kaduna State Government received initial reports from security agencies, that bandits attacked the villages of Dogon Noma, Ungwan Sarki and Ungwan Maikori in Kajuru local government area on Sunday.
“The Kaduna State Government wishes to make a clarification based on reports received since Sunday. The bandits attacked the first two locations and killed 31 citizens. They then headed into Ungwan Maikori, where they killed one person and burnt some houses.
“An Air Force helicopter (under Operation Whirl Punch) dispatched to the area, had earlier scanned the first two locations and sighted burnt houses and properties on fire.
“The helicopter intercepted the bandits at the last location (Ungwan Maikori) and engaged them as they retreated, before the arrival of ground troops to the general area.
“It was the arrival of the air asset which deterred the bandits from further attacks on the citizens in the village, after the bandits had already killed one local and burnt several houses.
“The story that a helicopter provided air support to the bandits against the locals, is therefore an untrue account.
“The Government of Kaduna State having gone through all the facts, finds it regrettable that a section of media would circulate an unverified report, insensitive to its implications on national security, law and order.
“Eyewitnesses to the peddled report of a helicopter aiding bandits in the killing of innocent citizens are invited to present their accounts to the Government backed by incontrovertible facts.”