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Airstrike: We recorded some deaths — over 8,000 residents displaced, says Niger SSG

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The Niger government says 8,150 persons have been displaced from Galadima-Kogo and environs in Shiroro LGA of the state following a recent airstrike.

The airstrike, which occurred on Tuesday, was said to have affected herders who were waiting to transport their cattle when an aircraft bombed the area.

TheCable had reported that the Nasarawa government said it buried 37 persons after the incident, while the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) said the explosion killed 31 herders.

The airstrike was said to have affected Nasarawa, Benue, and Niger states, with several vigilantes reported to have died in Niger state.

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Speaking on Saturday, Ahmed Matane, secretary to the Niger state government, said the aircraft belongs to the Nigerian Air Force, adding that it was not “a mysterious aircraft” as being rumoured.

He said the government is also aware of the presence of IDPs in the area.

Matane said the government is in discussion with the Shiroro local government council officials and the management of facilities in the area that provide shelter for the IDPs.

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“We are doing assessment to deal with the matter and we are also dealing with the issue of those who lost their lives from the angle of security personnel that were accidentally affected,” he said.

“We have recorded some deaths and are attending to the injured in hospitals.

“Relief materials are being processed to take to victims and government wants to ensure that security is provided at the IDP camps.”

Rabi Musa, one of the displaced victims, said his community has been deserted since the incident.

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“Many of our people were killed, aside the vigilante members. We ran to take shelter at the NSP facilities. Right now, no single person is left in our community; it is deserted,” NAN quoted Musa as saying.

“Since we came here, nobody has come to our aid; not even a single government official. We don’t have water to drink, not even to take our bath. We are suffering.”

Ibrahim Bahago, a youth leader in Galadima-Kogo, said the community was told on Tuesday that bandits were going through the area.

He said the vigilantes went toward the route the bandits were passing through, in the company of other security operatives, but they ran into an ambush.

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“Our vigilantes were ambushed and the next thing we heard was a very loud sound and it was a bomb thrown at the vigilantes protecting us. Many of them died,” he said.

“Since we came here, no government official has come to our aid.”

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