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NAF sets up Board of Inquiry on alleged aircraft bombing of civilians in Northeast Nigeria

Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Headquarters has set up a Board of Inquiry to “thoroughly investigate the circumstances” surrounding the death of civilians during a bombing mission involving an aircraft from the Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai, Northeast Nigeria.

The NAF jet was on air interdiction of Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists who were moving in a convoy when the rocket was fired but mistakenly landed in the village, killing several people.

Describing reports of civilian deaths as “unfortunate,” NAF Spokesperson, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, said in a statement titled ‘Investigation Commences On Alleged Aircraft Firing of Civilian Settlements’ that “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 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.

“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.”

A publication, Eons Intelligence, which first reported the incident, said that the aircraft killed 13 civlians while 26 others sustained varying degree of injuries.

The injured are being treated at Geidam Specialist Hospital, Yobe.

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