The war against insurgency suffered some set back as a military air strike has hit Buhari village in Yunusari LGA of Yobe state killing nine civilians
The jet was said to have been targeting the Islamic State in West African Province (ISWAP) terrorist group, but accidentally hit the village on Wednesday.
In a report monitored through Punch, the strike killed nine persons in the village and injured many others who were taken to a nearby hospital.
However, the Airforce spokesman Edward Gabkwet, on Wednesday, initially denied the incident, saying no missile was expended
However, in an apparent U-turn, through a statement on Thursday, Gabkwet confirmed the incident, saying the initial denial was based on the first report available to the air component which was subsequently forwarded to NAF headquarters.
“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 statement reads.
“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.”
Reacting to the incident, Mai Mala Buni, governor of the state, has commiserated with the families of the victims.
In a statement issued by his office, the governor said though it could have been an accident or a mistaken target, the government will join hands with the security agencies to unravel the cause of the incident.
Buni directed his special adviser on security affairs to liaise with the Nigerian Air force and the multi-national joint taskforce to look into the incident.
“Government will work closely with the security forces especially the Nigeria Air force to establish what actually happened,” the governor said.
“This is very important and necessary for us to guard against future occurrence and to safeguard the lives of our people.”