EKO HOT BLOG reports that survivors of the airstrike in Tudun Biri, Kaduna State, are grappling with their losses after a bombing, which was labeled ‘accidental’, resulted in numerous deaths.
Official figures from the state government confirm that at least 87 people died in the incident.
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The airstrikes, targeting a Maulud celebration, are part of a series of military operations that have mistakenly killed civilians in regions plagued by banditry.
This online media platform earlier reported that the Nigerian Army has accepted responsibility for the bombings and committed to covering the medical expenses of those injured.
Many survivors, facing the loss of their family’s breadwinners, are calling for monetary compensation to cope with the aftermath of the tragedy.
A survivor and father to three of the victims, 38-year-old Ibrahim Yakubu, described the events of that day as most unfortunate, adding that he felt that last Sunday would be his last day on earth.
He disclosed that he lost his mother and two of his children, Khadija, 10, and Ahmad, seven to the bombing.
He stated, “The bomb also affected my wife. She just underwent surgery and lots of things were removed from her body. That was the first time that the aircraft dropped the first bomb. In the process of my mother going to rescue my wife, the second bomb was dropped and she was killed.
“Khadija’s (daughter) body could not be recognised. Many bodies, especially of children and pregnant women littered the ground. I could only recognise my daughter’s mangled body through her dress. I couldn’t even see her remains because she was torn into pieces.
“Some of the bodies, mostly children, were torn into pieces. Rescue operators had to use body bags to pack the pieces and bury them. As we speak, some people are still missing. My wife is currently receiving treatment at the Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital here in Kaduna.”
Asked how he escaped the attack, the father-of-five said he was preparing to join his family at the gathering when he heard people wailing, and this forced him to rush out of his house.
“I think my delay to join the crowd saved me from being killed too,” he added.
Another survivor, 50-year-old Aisha Haruna, claimed that it was only by providence that she escaped.
She said she was meant to be at the event but went to the state capital for an urgent engagement.
Haruna stated, “I almost fainted when I got the news that 13 of my family members had been killed.
“When I got home, I could not recognise the remains of some of them because their bodies were dismembered.”
Another survivor, Bello Ugara, 33, who is a native of Tudun Biri, described the entire episode as a nightmare.
Amid tears, he said he wished he was at the venue of the event so that he would die with his loved ones.
He stated that he lost his children, several orphans who lived under his roof, and his maternal relatives.
He said, “Life no longer means anything to me now that my children are gone. I want to go with them.”
For Idris Dahiru, 37, who lost no fewer than 30 members of his family, he wants those who attacked the innocent villagers to be prosecuted.
He described it as unfortunate that the celebration of Prophet Muhammad turned bloody.
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Another survivor, 65-year-old Nana, said the airstrikes affected her legs, adding that she was unsure if she would be able to use the legs again.
Nana said, “There was a pregnant woman who died. The bomb affected my legs. I don’t know if I can walk again.”
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