At least six people were reportedly killed in error by an Air Force jet in Kunkunna community of Safana Local Government Area of Katsina State Tuesday afternoon.
The victims, sources said, were hit by a bomb released by a fighter jet which was involved in the fight against bandits.
The lawmaker representing Safana constituency at the Katsina State House of Assembly, AbdulJalal Runka, confirmed the accident to reporters in Katsina.
But he said only one woman was killed by the bomb. He said 14 other people injured in the attack were being treated at a hospital.
“What actually happened is that it was that jet (Air force fighter jet) that released the bomb there and there were casualties. 14 people were affected and they were quickly taken to the hospital,” he said.
Mr Runka said eight persons were admitted at the Umaru Musa Yar’adu’a University Teaching Hospital (formerly Federal Medical Centre Katsina).
“The woman who died was one of those admitted at the FMC. Six people are in Dutsin Ma General Hospital. The eight persons were also taken to Dutsin Ma but because of the critical situation of their wounds, they were referred to the FMC here in Katsina,” he said
However, a source at the Yariman Katsina (District Head of Safana) office who asked not to be named said six other victims of the bomb blast who were being treated at the General Hospital Dutsin Ma have all died.
“I can confirm that the six people who were receiving medical attention in Dutsin Ma have all died. One of them died before reaching the hospital. But there are also eight more people in Federal Medical Centre Katsina receiving medical treatment,” he said.
The source said the fighter jet was responding to a distress call for help in flushing out bandits operating in the western part of the local government.
“It’s a usual thing to most of the people in the area seeing fighter jets going into the Rugu forest side but yesterday, it was different because the fighter jet dropped the bomb before reaching the forest side,” the source said.
Meanwhile, Mr Runka said there is palpable tension in the area due to a recent spike in attacks by the gunmen
He said the fighter jet was trying to locate bandits who were grouping in Kwanar Dutse from where they intended to launch an attack.
Mr Runka said they were yet to receive an official briefing on the accident from the Nigeria Air Force Base in Katsina.
The spokesperson for the Nigerian Air Force, Edward Gabkwet, did not respond to calls and a text message seeking his comment.
Bandits have been attacking communities in North-west and some parts of North-central Nigeria killing and displacing hundreds of residents.
Both local and federal roads have become traps due to the activities of these bandits.
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