The Defence Headquarters on Tuesday said it viewed civilian deaths during troops’ operations as needless tragedy.
The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. Edward Buba said this in a statement made available to journalists in reaction to the bombing that occurred in Tudun Biri in the Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State on Sunday.
According to reports no fewer than 85 villagers were killed in an accidental bombing that occurred in the area.
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. ”
He explained that terrorists sometimes mix with citizens to ensure they are among the casualties.
Buba noted that the military takes the death of civilians as a tragedy, adding that the military always tries to avoid such incidents.
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 to prevent civilian casualties during operations, the military had encouraged residents to always alert troops of their activities to be able to differentiate between them and terrorists.
Buba said, “One such measure taken by the military is to continually give precise instructions to communities. For instance, communities are to always alert troops of their activities particularly when such a community is known to be infested with terrorists and their sympathisers.
Written by: Kevin Nwabueze
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