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africa

NAF to probe operation commander, others over Yobe bombing


THE Nigerian Air Force has set up a board of inquiry to probe the alleged bombing of residents in Yobe.

The Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, explained that an aircraft deployed in the area to contain the activities of terrorists following intelligence report fired probing shots which reportedly killed some civilians and injured others.

He disclosed this in a statement on Thursday titled, ‘Investigation commences on alleged aircraft firing of civilian settlement’.

The PUNCH gathered that the BoI will interrogate the commander of the air component in Yobe, the pilots and other personnel involved in the operation.

The operatives are expected to appear before the board as soon as it begins investigation into the incident.

A source said, “The board of inquiry comprises the President and Secretary and other officers. In order to carry out a thorough probe, the board will summon and quiz the commander of the air component, who authorised the operation/bombing as well as the pilots and other persons involved in the air operation.”

Gabkwet had earlier denied reports of the bombing, stating that NAF did not carry out any air operation in that location.

But in his latest statement on Thursday, the Air Force admitted that its aircraft bombed a location along the Kamadougou Yobe River line on Wednesday.

It read in part, “The aircraft while operating South of Kanama observed suspicious movement consistent with Boko Haram terrorists’ behaviour whenever a jet aircraft is overhead.

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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 headquarters alleged that some civilians were erroneously killed, while others were injured.

“Therefore a Board of Inquiry has been set up to thoroughly investigate the circumstances of the incident.”

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