NINE persons were killed on Wednesday as Nigerian Air Force mistakenly bombed a civilian dominated village in Yobe State.
The incident, which took place in Buhari community located in the Yunusari Local Government Area, left several others injured.
Residents told newsmen that the village came under attack of the jet in the early hours of Wednesday as they prepared to go about their daily activities.
However, after an initial denial, NAF Director of Public Relations and Information Edward Gabkwet, in a statement to journalists on Thursday, explained away the incident, saying the location of the incident was a notorious lair for terrorists and “well known for continuous Boko Haram/ISWAP activities.”
The aircraft, which he said was from the air component of Operation Hadin Kai, was responding to intelligence when it suddenly noticed suspicious movement consistent with Boko Haram terrorist behaviour before the fired ‘some probing shots.’
“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,” he said.
“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 Headquarters alleged that some civilians were erroneously killed while others were injured.”
He said that a board of inquiry had been set up to investigate the incident’s circumstances thoroughly.