Kaduna Bombing: How Army Mistook Residents For Terrorists

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The Nigerian Army have accepted responsibility for the aerial bombing that killed 31 people of Tudun Biri, Igabi local government area of Kaduna state, explaining that they were engaging terrorists when their drone bombarded the villagers mistaking them for bandits. 

Residents of Tudun Biri in Kaduna state were said to be celebrating Maulud Nabiyyi (the birth of Prophet Muhammad (SAW)) at about 9pm on Sunday when they suffered jet aerial bombardment following which 31 people were killed and many others sustained various degrees of injury. 

Following the incident, a former federal lawmaker, Senator Shehu Sani, took to his verified X handle (former Twitter) saying that “The translation of the post reveals that scores of people were killed yesterday by Ariel bombardment during a religious festival in a village near the Kaduna Airport. Clarification is needed”.

But the Nigerian Army admitted being responsible for the bombardment according to a statement signed by the Overseeing Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan on Monday. The statement said a search-and-rescue efforts are still ongoing, adding that the state government has evacuated dozens of injured victims to Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital for treatment. 

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Speaking after the Kaduna state Security Council meeting that has in attendance the Commissioner of Police, MY Garba, and Director of the Department of State Services (DSS) Abdul Eneche. Chairman, Kaduna state chapter of Jam’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Professor Shafi’u Abdullahi, led other religious leaders. 

Also present at meeting was the District Head of Rigasa, Alhaji Aminu Idris in whose domain the incident occurred.

According to Aruwan, “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 Sabuwa 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. 

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“The General Officer Commanding One Division Nigerian Army, Major General 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 Nigerian Air Force had on Sunday, when the story broke, denied any involvement in the aerial bombing that killed at least 31 people in Tudun Biri, explaining that NAF did not carry out any air operation in Kaduna state on Sunday. 

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Speaking in a statement issued on  Sunday, the Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, said the Nigerian Air Force has nothing to do with the aerial bombing of the people of Tudun Biri. 

“The news making the rounds alleging that Nigerian Air Force (NAF) aircraft accidentally killed innocent civilians in Kaduna is false.

Please be informed that the NAF has not carried out any air operations within Kaduna State and environs in the last 24 hours. 

“Also, note that the NAF is not the only organization operating combat armed drones in the North western region of Nigeria. It is also important to ensure that due diligence is always exhausted by the media before going to press with unverified and unconfirmed reports,” Gabkwet said. (Blueprint)

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