Civilian casualties as NAF admits fighter jet hit Buhari village

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Finally, the Nigerian Air Force admitted its aircraft killed civilian in an aerial op on Buhari, in Yunusari Local Government of Yobe, Wedneday.

Initial reports had it that a bomber struck the village known to be occupied by Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists.

Witnesses said some civilians were killed and others injured as the aircraft wrongly targeted non-terrorists.

Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, Air Force spokesman, earlier denied it.

“This tweet is false in its entirety. The NAF last conducted a mission into Yobe State (Not Yunusari LGA) on 5 September 2021 and it was an armed recce. No bomb or missile was even expended. Thanks,”he said in reacting to a tweet.

But in a statement on Thursday, the Air Force spokesman admitted that some shots were fired from a military aircraft.

“Following intelligence on Boko Haram/ISWAP movements along the Kamadougou Yobe River line, an aircraft from the Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai was detailed to respond to the suspected terrorists activities in the area along the Nigeria/Niger border at about 0600hrs on 15 September 2021.”

“The aircraft while operating South of Kanama observed suspicious movement consistent with Boko Haram terrorists 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 Boko Haram /ISWAP activities. Unfortunately reports reaching Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Headquarters alleged that some civilians were erroneously killed while others were injured.

“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 that civilians were bombed as the aircraft detailed for the mission was not carrying bombs. Therefore a Board of Inquiry has been set up to thoroughly investigate the circumstances of the incident.”

Gov Mai Buni has ordered Geidam General Hospital and others to admit those injured, and treat for free.

He promised investigation of the incident.