Six children were killed and houses burnt during an air raid by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in Kurebe community in Shiroro local government area of Niger State, North-central Nigeria.
The incident occurred Wednesday morning, April 13, 2022. Salis Sabo, spokesperson of Coalition of Shiroro Associations (COSA), said in a statement obtained by HumAngle.
According to Sabo, the children were coming back from a motorised borehole within the Kurebe community, where they went to fetch water, when they were torn into pieces by a bomb dropped by the NAF aircraft.
Sabo quoted a man whom he said lost two of his daughters and two grand daughters in the incident to have told him that “there was no single bandit within the village at the time the aircraft bombarded the innocent children.”
He said there are two terrorists’ camps close to Kurebe, “one links up with the community through Unguwan Zomo, the other through Kwantan Yashi,” but they were not taken out by the NAF fighter jet. Rather, it was the civilian settlement that suffered.
According to him, the locals are helpless, adding that they “are at the mercy of the terrorists as the terrorists come into the community at will, loot their property, rape their daughters, wives, and even their mothers.”
“They forced them to live in the village as anyone who attempts to leave will incur the wrath of the terrorists,” Sabo said, adding that there was no presence of any security personnel in the area.
“This is the second time this type of incident is happening,” he said, “while we continue to vent, spleen, raise dust and even bring down the roof when occasion calls for that, to get the government to do what it has sworn to do. It continues to pamper these nefarious vermins who inflict terror on their people”.
Neither the Police nor the state government has reacted to the incident.
A community resident who pleaded anonymity confirmed to HumAgle that the incident happened last week.
He said the NAF fighter jet targeted bandits camps around the area, “but the bandits scattered on hearing the sound of the jet, and ran to the Kurebe community to use the civilians as shields.”
“About 50 bandits were killed, but unfortunately six children from the community were hit by the bomb,” he said.
However, Ahmed Ibrahim Matene, the Secretary to Niger State Government told the Voice of America (VOA) Hausa on April 14, 2022, that the government was investigating the incident.
According to him, there are no more “good” people left in Kurebe area, for bandits have taken over the area. He added that the state government had relocated the people of the area to IDP camps.
However, a source at the military headquarters, who pleaded not to be named, told HumAgle that the entire Shiroro area is dominated by bandits, “and the claim that their children were hit by bomb means that they were mixing with the bandits.”
“Our duty is to keep Nigeria safe”, he said. “Ours is to hit the target where terrorists have converted to their homes; we don’t go about looking for innocent people. Ours is to pursue terrorists and if people go and hybernate with them, when our bomb come it will difficult to seperate them from terrorists,” the source said.
“The terrorists are very smart, but all tactics can not slow us down,” he added.
Although he said Niger State Government had agreed to issue a statement on the incident, one week after the occurrence the statement is yet to come.
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