Human RightsNews

Scores Killed, 30 Injured In Buhari Village Bombing, Air Force Denies Culpability

The Nigerian Air Force has been accused of bombing a village in Yobe state, Northeast Nigeria, during a raid of terrorist enclaves.

Several persons were killed and over 30 others badly injured in Buhari village of Yobe state, Northeast Nigeria, as a Nigeria Air Force jet allegedly carried out an air raid on a ‘terrorist’ camp that was authorised based on wrong coordinates, sources said. 

The incident happened in a village called Buhari in Yunusari local government area of Yobe state. Sources in Geidam town of Yobe said at least 30 persons have been brought to the town’s general hospital where they are currently receiving treatment. 

A military source said residents of Buhari village suddenly came under fire from the skies as the jet began to empty its lethal warhead on them. “The damage was done before it could be realised that they were hitting the wrong target.”

Malam BabaGana, a resident of Geidam village confirmed to HumAngle that persons injured in the attack were brought to the hospital in two trucks. “It was very sad. But I can confirm that I saw many injured persons brought in two trucks,” he said. “They were all drenched with blood as they were badly injured.”

Babagana said Garin Buhari is located east of Geidam in Yunusari where it is believed Boko Haram gunmen have their camps not far away from the village. 

“Recently, about three days ago, people from the village said they’ve seen Boko Haram patrolling the areas near the village on motorcycles. But we don’t know if that was the reason the fighter visited the village today. But lives have been wasted,” he narrated. 

The village which is about 200km from Damaturu, the state capital, shares a border with Niger Republic. According to the BBC Service, residents said they had seen three military planes hovering over the sky with one releasing rockets and destroying houses in what seemed like a targeted military campaign.

“It was around 8:30 a.m., when one of the planes crashed into a part of the city and was on fire, all the houses on that side were destroyed,” a resident told the BBC Service. “It’s a very big military plane but we don’t know where it belongs.”

The residents could not determine the number of people killed in the air raid, the witness said, adding that he had lost two relatives—his father and niece. He said there were no security personnel on the ground and that villagers were the ones who transported the bodies and injured to Geidam Hospital.

Another witness quoted by the BBC Service said he saw 19 injured people at the hospital. “There were many casualties but the number is unknown because they were left behind in Buhari village,” he said.

This is the second time, in a major event, that a fighter jet would be scrambled based on faulty coordinates that later led to the mass killing of innocent persons. 

In 2018, about 115 villagers died in Rann, the headquarters of Kala Balge local government, after an Air Force jet was authorised by the Theatre Command of the former Operation Lafiya Dole (now Operation Hadin Kai), to attack an identified ‘terrorist’ camp. The pilot was said to have taken the wrong coordinate which led to targeting a civilian location. 

Air Force Not Responsible – NAF 

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has denied it carried out air raids in the Yobe village on Wednesday, Sept. 15. Edward Gabkwet, the NAF’s spokesperson, in a message sent to HumAngle, said reports linking the air force to the bombing were false.

“The NAF last conducted a mission into Yobe State (Not Yunusari LGA) on 5 September 2021 and it was an armed recce,” Gabkwet said.  

“No bomb or missile was even expended.”  

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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.

Aishat Babatunde

Aishat Babatunde heads the digital reporting desk. Before joining HumAngle, she worked at Premium Times and Nigerian Tribune. She is a graduate of English from the University of Ibadan.

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