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‘Army has admitted bombing Kaduna villagers in error’

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Many killed as air force jets 'mistakenly bombs Kaduna villages'

The Kaduna State government says the Nigerian Army has claimed responsibility for dropping a bomb on Tudun Biri in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State which left no fewer than 30 villagers dead on Sunday.

Scores of villagers in Tudun Biri in Igabi LGA of Kaduna State were killed after a bomb was allegedly dropped by a military jet during a Maulud celebration.

Earlier, the Nigerian Air Force denied responsibility for the attack.

However, the Overseeing Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said the General Officer Commanding 1 Division Nigerian Army and Force Commander Operation Whirl Punch, Maj Gen VU Okoro, admitted that the Nigerian Army was on a routine mission against terrorists when the incident happened.

This was contained in a statement released by the commissioner to journalists shortly after the deputy governor, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe met with Islamic clerics, traditional rulers, heads of security agencies, where “the Nigerian Army explained the circumstances which led to the unfortunate and unintended attack.”

The meeting was held at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House, Kaduna on Monday.

The statement read, “The General Officer Commanding 1 Division Nigerian Army, Major VU Okoro, explained that the Nigerian Army was on a routine mission against terrorists but inadvertently affected members of the community.”

He added that search-and-rescue efforts were still ongoing as dozens of injured victims had been evacuated to the Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital by the state government.

He also quoted the deputy governor as having commiserated with the victims’ families while praying for the repose of the victims’ souls

The statement added, “The Kaduna State Government has received briefings on Sunday night’s attack which left several citizens dead and others injured.

“In a meeting presided over by the Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, which had in attendance heads of security agencies, religious and traditional leaders, the Nigerian Army explained the circumstances which led to the unfortunate and unintended attack.

“The General Officer Commanding 1 Division Nigerian Army, Major VU Okoro, explained that the Nigerian Army was on a routine mission against terrorists but inadvertently affected members of the community.

“The deputy governor, at the end of the closed-door meeting, conveyed the condolences of the government and people of Kaduna State to the families that lost their loved ones and prayed for the repose of the victims’ souls.

“As of the time of this update, search-and-rescue efforts are still ongoing, as dozens of injured victims have been evacuated to Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital by the Government.”

The heads of security agencies who attended the meeting included the state Commissioner of Police, MY Garba; Director of the Department of State Services, Abdul Eneche; the Chairman of the Kaduna State Chapter of Jam’atu Nasril Islam, Prof. Shafi’u Abdullahi, who led other religious leaders as well as the District Head of Rigasa, Alhaji Aminu Idris, in whose domain the incident occurred.

 

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