The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has condemned the killings of villagers during an accidental bombing in Tudun Biri in the Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Naija News reports that about 30 people lost their lives in the incident, which occurred on Sunday night during the celebration of Maulud in the village.
In a statement on Tuesday, the DHQ spokesman, Maj. Gen. Edward Buba said the military viewed civilian deaths during troops’ operations as needless tragedy.
While detailing what led to the tragedy, Buba said personnel observed untoward activities and movement of terrorists around the area, which prompted the usage of drones.
He explained that the gathering of the terrorists observed in the community posed a danger to key infrastructure and residents in the area, adding that the threat was eliminated.
The statement read, “On December 3, 2023, at about 2200hrs and based on untoward activities of terrorists. The NA UAV detachment observed the movement of terrorists at Ligarma, a terrorist-infested area of Kaduna State.
“Aerial surveillance captured the movement of groups of persons synonymous with the terrorist tactics and modus operandi.
“The observed advance of the terrorists that were gathered posed a threat to key infrastructure within reach of the untoward activities. Accordingly, the threat was eliminated to prevent the terrorists from unleashing terror on innocent civilians. ”
Buba noted that the military takes the death of civilians as a tragedy, adding that the military always tries to avoid such incidents.
The DHQ spokesman also explained that terrorists sometimes mix with citizens to ensure they are among the casualties.
He said, ” 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 military views every civilian death in the cause of operations as a tragedy. Such tragedies are needless and unwanted, that cause the armed forces to take extensive measures to avoid them.”
He said the military must encourage residents always to alert troops of their activities to be able to differentiate between them and terrorists to prevent civilian casualties during operations,
The DHQ spokesman also promised that the military would continue to conduct its operations in tandem with international laws, adding that the military would be cautious in the ongoing operations against terrorists.