We killed 10 civilians in error, NAF admits

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Contrary to its initial denial, the Nigeria Air Force has admitted to having inadvertently killed 10 people during a scheduled operation in Buhari village in Yunusari Local Government of Yobe State.

The Nigeria Air Force, in its initial response to reports of the attack, had said: “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.”

But less than 24 hours after its denial, the Nigeria Air Force said its operatives carried out the bombing.

In a statement by its spokesman Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, the Nigeria Air Force on Thursday said: “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 terrorist 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 terrorist 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.”

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