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NAF Backtracks, Working To Identify Fighter Jet Involved In Fatal Air Raid

Following the air raid that killed scores in Yobe State, Northeast Nigeria, by a military jet, the Nigeria Air Force has backtracked its initial response and has said it is working to identify the jet.

The Yobe State government and the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) say they are working to identify the Air Force jet that carried out the Wednesday air bombing of Garin Buhari, a border community between Nigeria and the Niger Republic. 

Scores of persons were reported dead while over 30 others are currently hospitalised because of the inaccurate air raid of the village by operatives hunting Boko Haram insurgents, sources said. 

The Nigeria Air Force had in a terse statement released Wednesday evening denied knowledge of the said air raid nor any other related operation yesterday. 

HumAngle on Wednesday, published a report on the incident quoting Nigeria AirForce spokesman, saying that “reports linking the air force to the bombing were false”, and “the NAF last conducted a mission into Yobe State (Not Yunusari LGA) on Sept. 5 2021 and it was an armed recce. No bomb or missile was even expended.” 

Governor of Yobe State, Mai-Mala Buni, had ordered the Nigerian Air Force to investigate the attack and unravel the identity of the fighter jet that carried out the operation. 

Mamman Mohammed, the Yobe State Governor’s spokesperson, informed HumAngle in a telephone interview that the governor had directed NAF to contact the multinational task force to unravel the identity of the jet that carried out the operation. 

“The state government is working together with the Nigeria Air Force investigating the incident to identify who carried out the air raid,” he said.

“The governor has specifically directed the NAF to contact the Multinational Joint Task Force whom it is understood have the authorization to carry out such kind of operations in the said location.”  

Buhari village is located in-between the Yobe state and the border areas of the Niger Republic and the multinational joint task force’s mandates cover the said border areas.  

“While His Excellency commiserates with the families of those who lost their lives in the incident as well as those who survived with injuries, the position of the government, for now, is to identify who carried out the said operation,” said Mohammed who is the Director-General Press Affairs to the Yobe state governor. 

When a HumAngle reporter checked with sources at the General Hospital Geidam where all the injured persons are currently taking medication, it was gathered that some of the victims are residents of Geidam who went to farm in Buhari village. 

“As we can see here in the hospital many of the injured victims are people from Geidam who went to Buhari village for farming activities,” said paramedic personnel who spoke under anonymous condition.  

“Some of them that spoke to us said the jet that bombed them came as they were setting out for their farms,” he said. 

The source added that “there were rumours that Boko Haram insurgents riding motorcycles were seen milling around Buhari village – maybe the soldiers thought they were in the village that’s why they came to attack. And sadly all the persons that were killed and injured are ordinary law-abiding residents and farmers.”

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Abdulkareem Haruna

Abdulkareem Haruna is a Nigerian journalist currently employed as the Editor for Lake Chad at HumAngle. For over a decade, he has demonstrated a passionate commitment to reporting on the Boko Haram conflict and the crisis in the Lake Chad region of northeastern Nigeria. He is a graduate of English Language and holds a Diploma in Mass Communications. Prior to his current role, he served as an assistant editor at both Premium Times and Leadership Newspaper.

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