The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) of the Nigerian military issued a statement on Tuesday addressing the recent air strike accident in Tudun Birni, Igabi Local Government Area, Kaduna State. The statement emphasized the challenges faced by the military in dealing with terrorists who deliberately embed themselves within civilian population centers.
Edward Buba, the Director of Defence Media Operations, revealed that the army’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) detachment had detected the movement of terrorists in Ligarma, a known haven for such groups. He highlighted the unfortunate reality that terrorists often use civilian areas as shields, putting innocent lives at risk.
Buba stated, “It should be noted that terrorists often deliberately embed themselves within civilian population centres for the civilian population to bear the consequences of their atrocities. Nevertheless, the Nigerian military does its best at all times to distinguish between civilians and terrorists.”
The statement further emphasized that the military considers every civilian death in the course of operations as a tragedy, taking extensive measures to avoid such incidents. Communities were urged to alert troops about their activities, especially in areas known to be infested with terrorists and their sympathizers, to enable the military to distinguish between friendly and untoward activities.
While the Nigerian Air Force distanced itself from the incident, the Nigerian Army took responsibility, acknowledging that its troops were on a routine mission against terrorists when the unfortunate “mistake” occurred. The incident resulted in the loss of 85 lives, with many others sustaining injuries in the bombing. The military’s response underscores the complexities and challenges faced in combating terrorism while minimizing harm to civilians.