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Army admits responsibility for airstrike which killed ‘over 30’ Kaduna villagers

The Kaduna government says the Nigerian Army has accepted responsibility for the death of some residents of Tudun Biri community in Igabi LGA of the state.

According to the state government, the army said the air strike that killed the villagers was a mistake.

On Sunday, many residents were feared dead after an air strike was launched on the community. Some reports have put the death toll from the strike at over 30, with scores left injured.

However, Edward Gabkwet, Nigerian Air Force (NAF) spokesperson, said initial reports that NAF launched the air strike on hapless civilians were false.

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Speaking on the development, Samuel Aruwan, overseeing commissioner, ministry of internal security and home affairs, in a statement on Monday after an emergency security meeting, said the incident inadvertently occurred during a routine mission against terrorists by the army.

Aruwan added that injured victims are currently receiving treatment at the Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital.

He said the meeting was presided over by Hadiza Balarabe, deputy governor of the state, and had heads of security agencies, religious and traditional leaders in attendance.

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“The Kaduna State Government has received briefings on Sunday night’s attack which left several citizens dead and others injured,” Aruwan said.

“The Nigerian Army explained the circumstances which led to the unfortunate and unintended attack.

“The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 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 Government and People of Kaduna State to the families that lost their loved ones, and prayed for the repose of the victims’ souls.

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“As of the time of this update, search-and-rescue efforts are still ongoing, as dozens of injured victims have been evacuated to Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital by the Government.

“Heads of security agencies who attended the meeting include the Commissioner of Police, MY Garba, and Director of the Department of State Services (DSS), Abdul Eneche.

“The Chairman of the Kaduna State Chapter of Jam’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) Professor Shafi’u Abdullahi, led other religious leaders.

“Also present at meeting was the District Head of Rigasa, Alhaji Aminu Idris, in whose domain the incident occurred.”

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