Why we earlier denied unfortunate bombing of civilians in Buhari village — NAF
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) said it has begun an investigation into fighter jet airstrike in ”Buhari village” in Yunusari Local Government Area of Yobe state.
The affected community, Yunusari, which shares an international border with Niger Republic has an area of 3,790 km2 and a population of 125,821 according to the 2006 census.
The u-turn from the earlier denial of the incident by the Force was contained in a statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information, NAF Headquarters, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, on Thursday in Abuja.
“Following intelligence on insurgents movements along the Kamadougou Yobe River line, an aircraft from the Air Component of ‘Operation Hadin Kai’ was detailed to respond to the suspected insurgents’ activities in the area along the Nigeria/Niger border at about 0600hrs on September 15.
“The aircraft while operating South of Kanama observed suspicious movement consistent with the insurgents’ 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 insurgents activities.
“But unfortunately, reports reaching NAF Headquarters alleged that some civilians were erroneously killed while others were injured.
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”According to the director, the 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.
He added that the report stated that civilians were bombed as the aircraft detailed for the mission was not carrying bombs.
Gabkwet explained that based on the report, a Board of Inquiry had since been set up to thoroughly investigate the circumstances of the incident.
Meanwhile, Gov. Mai Mala-Buni of Yobe has directed government hospitals in Geidam and Damaturu to offer free medical services to those who sustained injuries in the disaster.
This is contained in a statement by Mr Buni’s spokesperson, Mamman Mohammed, in Damaturu on Thursday.
Buni also directed the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to provide relief materials to victims.