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Tragic Misfire: Army Bombing Mistakenly Hits Kaduna Village

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In a tragic turn of events, the Nigerian Army, in a case of mistaken identity, bombed a Maulud celebration in Kurmin Biri village, Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State, resulting in the death of at least 85 villagers. The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) confirmed these figures, stating that the search for more victims continues.

The bombing, which occurred Sunday night, affected a wide range of villagers, including children, women, and the elderly. At least 53 others, seriously injured, are currently receiving treatment in hospitals. A survivor claimed the death toll exceeded 100.

During the rescue efforts for the initial victims, the aircraft reportedly returned, dropping a second bomb, exacerbating the devastation in the village.

In response to the incident, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has denied involvement. Meanwhile, Kaduna State Governor Uba Sani has ordered a thorough investigation to prevent future occurrences and convened an emergency security meeting with key stakeholders, including Army representatives and local leaders.

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) have expressed deep sorrow and called for a comprehensive investigation into what they described as an “avoidable mistake.”

Major-General V. Okoro of the Nigerian Army informed the Kaduna State Government that the Army was targeting terrorists but inadvertently hit Kurmin Biri villagers. The General Officer Commanding One Division Nigerian Army provided this briefing in a meeting with the Deputy Governor, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, and other heads of security agencies.

Samuel Aruwan, the Commissioner overseeing the Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs in Kaduna State, spoke to BBC Hausa Service about potential compensation for victims. He emphasized that only military authorities could comment on the intelligence gathered before the incident.

Governor Sani, in a statement, offered condolences and assured that the injured would receive free medical care at Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital. He appealed for calm in the affected communities and stressed the government’s commitment to preventing such tragedies.

CAN, in a statement, urged understanding, noting the bombing was not intentional but a grave error. AYCF President General Shettima Yerima stressed the need for accountability and a thorough investigation to prevent recurrence.

A survivor, Malam Baba Muhammad, described the harrowing experience, claiming over 100 people were killed. The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) also demanded a detailed investigation, emphasizing the importance of safeguarding civilians in conflict zones.

This incident has sparked widespread calls for a rigorous investigation and measures to ensure the protection of civilians during military operations. The Kaduna State Government, along with religious and community leaders, are working to provide support and seek justice for the victims and their families.

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