Eko Hot Blog reports that the Nigerian Army has accepted responsibility launching air strikes at a village in Kaduna State, leaving scores of civilians dead as part of a protracted operation targeting armed bandits along the country’s northwestern flank.
The Kaduna State Government made the disclosure on Monday.
Many residents of Tundun Biri village in the Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna were killed in the air raids, with several others injured on Sunday night in what an army chief told state officials was an error.
At least 30 civilians were killed in the attack, although the Nigerian Army has not officially disclosed fatality figures.
State government spokesman Samuel Aruwan said Valentine Okoro, a major-general leading the Nigerian Army 1 Division headquartered in Kaduna, had admitted at a meeting that the drone operators mistook the villagers for bandits, who have been terrorising the region.
Those bombed had gathered for the Maulud celebration at about 9:00 p.m. Sunday, during which the army said terrorists were also suspected to be moving across the borders between Zamfara and Kaduna.
Aruwan said a meeting was presided over by the deputy governor, Hadiza Balarabe, and had heads of security agencies, religious and traditional leaders, and the Nigerian Army in attendance.
Aruwan said 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,” he added.
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