By John Ikani
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has finally admitted to carrying out Wednesday bombing of Buhari village in Yunusari Local Government Area of Yobe State, that left 10 people dead and over 20 wounded.
Confirming the incident, NAF spokesman, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet in a statement, said the Wednesday attack was called in response to movements by suspected members of Boko Haram or Islamic State’s West African (ISWAP) branch, which broke away from Boko Haram in 2016.
“Unfortunately, reports reaching Nigerian Air Force headquarters alleged that some civilians were erroneously killed, while others were injured.
“Therefore, a board of inquiry has been set up to thoroughly investigate the circumstances of the incident,” part of the statement read.
What you should know
NAF’s confirmation comes 24 hours after the force had initially denied carrying out the attack.
“This tweet is false in its entirety. The NAF last conducted a mission into Yobe State (Not Yunusari LGA) on 5 September 2021 and it was an armed recce. No bomb or missile was even expended. Thanks,” Gabkwet had tweeted on Wednesday to deny a tweet linking the force with the incident.
It is worthwhile to note that NAF has an ugly record of missing targets as it helps prosecute the war against insurgency in the North East.
Recently, a military jet that came to repel an attack by Boko Haram dropped a bomb that landed in a compound where civilians were holding a naming ceremony.
A fighter jet also on a mission against Boko Haram extremists in April, 2021, mistakenly bombed men of the Nigerian Army, killing over 20 officers.
The soldiers who were reinforced from Ngandu village were said to be on their way to Mainok, headquarters of the Kaga Local Government Area of Borno state which was under attack by militants from the Islamic State-backed faction of Boko Haram, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), formerly known as Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihād.
Some of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014 and freed last year also said three of their classmates were killed by Air Force bombardments.
In June 2021, an offensive aerial bombardment the NAF Alpha jet carried out around Genu town in Niger State, resulted in the killings of some wedding guests.
Heritage Times also recalls that the Airforce bombed civilians in Rann, Kalabage, Borno State and an IDP camp in Adamawa State in the last three years.