By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Nigerian Army has claimed responsibility for the killing of some villagers of Tudun Biri in Kaduna in an air strike.
Reports earlier went viral that operatives of the Nigerian Air Force bombed the villagers during a Maulud celebration but authorities of the air force debunked the reports, saying its men were never involved in such.
However, the Nigerian Army has said it was involved in the bombing, which it said was a mistake because it was going after some terrorists in the area.
The Kaduna State government, in a statement issued on Monday by its Overseeing Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan, said the army confirmed the attack in an update to the government.
It stated that the villagers were murdered in the attack on Sunday night, with several others injured.
The statement said in a meeting presided over by the Deputy Governor, Ms Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe, which had in attendance heads of security agencies, and religious and traditional leaders, the Nigerian Army explained the circumstances which led to the unfortunate and unintended attack.
It stated that the General Officer Commanding One Division Nigerian Army, Major VU 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 Kaduna Government to the families that lost their loved ones and prayed for the repose of the victims’ souls.
The statement disclosed that as of the time of the update, search-and-rescue efforts are still ongoing, as dozens of injured victims have been evacuated to Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital by the government.