Kaduna airstrike: DHQ apologises, insists terrorists were killed in Ligarma
Written by Adeola Ibrahim on December 6, 2023
The Defence Headquarters, yesterday, said that the Nigerian Army’s aerial bombardment of Ligarma village in Kaduna State in which some innocent civilians were killed, actually took out several terrorists, who embedded themselves in the community while fleeing.
Speaking on a day that President Bola Tinubu sued for calm and ordered thorough investigation of the disaster, the DHQ apologised for the killing of civilians, saying, “the military views every civilian death in the cause of operations as a tragedy.”’
The tragedy elicited reactions yesterday, from Kaduna State Government officials and the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, who visited Tudun Biri community in Igabi LGA; the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF; Apex Muslim Organisation led by the Sultan of Sokoto, the Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI; former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; and former Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi.
Director of Defence Media Operations, Major General Edward Buba, who made this known in a statement said this is why communities are to always alert troops of terrorists’ activities particularly when such a community is known to be infested with terrorists and their sympathisers.
DHQ said: “Such tragedies are needless and unwanted, which causes the armed forces to take extensive measures to avoid them.”
“It noted that terrorists often deliberately embed themselves within civilian population centres in order for the civilian population to bear the consequences of their atrocities.
The statement titled: “On Air Strike on Ligarma Village in Kaduna State,” read in part: “On 3 Dec 2023, at about 2200hrs and based on untoward activities by terrorists, The NA UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) detachment observed movement of terrorists at Ligarma, a terrorist-infested area of Kaduna State.
“Aerial surveillance captured movement of groups of persons synonymous with the terrorists’ tactics and modus operandi. The observed advance of the terrorists that were gathered posted a threat to key infrastructure within reach of the on-toward activities.
“Accordingly, the threat was eliminated to prevent the terrorists from unleashing terror on innocent civilians.
“The armed forces will continue to operate consistent with international law as it always has done.
“It will also continue its determined and cautious progress in eradicating terrorists from our land.
“These terrorists as part of their tactics disguise themselves as civilians to perpetrate terror.
“Accordingly, we will continue to find innovative solutions to the challenges faced in the conduct of operations.”
Disturbed by the incident, President Tinubu, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, directed all relevant security agencies to carry out a thorough and full-fledged investigation on the bomb mishap, and also called for calm while the authorities look diligently into the mishap.
Tinubu sympathized with the families of victims, the people and government of Kaduna State over the airstrike mishap, which he described as “very unfortunate, disturbing, and painful, expressing indignation and grief over the tragic loss of Nigerian lives.”
“The President also directed swift and comprehensive medical attention for surviving victims while praying for the repose of the souls of the deceased.”