The Nigerian Air force makes U-turn on it’s initial denial that one of its fighter jets on a mission against terrorists “unfortunately” bombed civilians in Yobe State on Wednesday.
The NAF admit the claims in statement released by it’s Director of Public Relations and Information, Edward Gabkwet.
He said investigation had commenced into the incident, adding that the “initial statement denying the involvement of NAF aircraft was based on the first report available” at the time
In the statement titled, ‘Investigation Commences On Alleged Aircraft Firing Of Civilian Settlements’, Gabkwet said the location of the incident was a notorious lair for terrorists and “well known for continuous Boko Haram /ISWAP activities”.
The statement read:
“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 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.”