The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says it has commenced an investigation into the ‘bombing’ of a community in Yobe State.
A statement by its Director of Public Relations and Information, Edward Gabkwet, said an aircraft was deployed to the Kamadougou Yobe River line following suspicious activities of terrorists in the area.
Initial reports on Wednesday suggested that a NAF fighter jet had carried out the bombing which reportedly left several persons killed and many more injured.
The Air Force had earlier denied any involvement in the incident but in a brief statement on Thursday, Gabkwet said a proper investigation is ongoing.
He further revealed that following intelligence on the suspicious movements consistent with Boko Haram/ISWAP fighters along the Nigeria/Niger border, “the pilot fired some probing shots”.
The Air Force spokesman emphasized that the area is well known for continuous Boko Haram /ISWAP activities.
Commodore Gabkwet disclosed that NAF’s initial release denying any involvement was based on the first report suggesting that civilians were bombed.
He explained that contrary to what had been reported, “the aircraft detailed for the mission was not carrying bombs” and as such, a board of inquiry has been set up to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.
The statement read, “Following intelligence on Boko Haram/ISWAP movements along the Kamadougou Yobe River line, an aircraft from the Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai was detailed to respond to the suspected terrorists activities in the area along the Nigeria/Niger border at about 0600hrs on 15 September 2021. The aircraft while operating South of Kanama observed suspicious movement consistent with Boko Haram terrorists behaviour whenever a Jet aircraft is overhead.
“Accordingly, the pilot fired some probing shots. It is important to state that the area is well known for continuous Boko Haram /ISWAP activities. Unfortunately reports reaching Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Headquarters alleged that some civilians were erroneously killed while others were injured.
“Initial release denying the involvement of NAF aircraft was based on the first report available to the Air Component which was subsequently forwarded to NAF headquarters that civilians were bombed as the aircraft detailed for the mission was not carrying bombs. Therefore a Board of Inquiry has been set up to thoroughly investigate the circumstances of the incident.”