Chief of army staff killed as military aircraft crashes in Kaduna

Author:
TheCable

A military aircraft of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) with Ibrahim Attahiru, chief of army staff, on board, has crashed around the Kaduna international airport.

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Edward Gabkwet, NAF spokesman, confirmed the incident on Friday but did not name the casualties.

But President Muhammadu Buhari has issued a statement mourning the death of Attahiru, whom he appointed only in February.

Gabkwet said the “immediate cause of the crash is still being ascertained”.

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A source at the airport told TheCable that 12 persons were involved in the accident, but the identities of the victims had not been confirmed at the time of reporting.

The crash was also said to have occurred around 6pm.

Military sources who spoke with TheCable said the army chief was on board with a few of his aides.

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“They were almost landing when the aircraft lost its balance and crashed inside the bush,” a source said.

Another source said Attahiru was on his way to Kaduna to attend a passing-out parade for some recruits scheduled for Saturday, adding that “heavy rain” contributed to the crash.

Mohammed Yerima, army spokesperson, was not immediately available to comment on the crash.

The incident comes weeks after a NAF aircraft crashed after losing contact with radar in Borno state.

The jet was on a mission to provide support for troops on the ground fighting Boko Haram insurgents.

Earlier in February, another NAF aircraft crashed in Abuja after reporting engine failure en route Minna.

All seven personnel on board died in the Abuja incident.

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