More than 10 villagers have been killed in an air strike by Nigerien Airforce during a pursuit of Boko Haram insurgents into Buhari village, a Yobe community, hospital and security sources said.
The sources informed PREMIUM TIMES that the Nigerien Air Force launched the airstrike on Buhari village in Yunusari Local Government, north of Yobe from Damaturu, the state capital, while chasing Boko Haram fighters into the village.
Yunusari, which shares an international border with Niger Republic, has an area of 3,790 km2 and a population of 125,821, according to the 2006 census.
A source at Geidam General Hospital told our correspondent that over 20 wounded villages had been brought to the hospital.
The source added that about 10 people were feared killed in the attack.
“We have admitted over 20 people at the Geidam General Hospital as at the time I am talking to you now. As for the number of deaths, no death was brought to the hospital but we learnt that over ten people were killed in the village,” the source revealed.
A vigilante source informed that the jet that dropped bombs on the village belongs to the Nigerien Airforce.
“From what we heard, it is the Nigerien Airforce that were pursuing Boko Haram into that village. The casualty is high but no one is sure of the figure,” the source informed.
The Chairman of Yunusari Local Government, Bukar Gaji, confirmed the incident but could not give details of the casualty figure.
He said his people were in pains and grief over the unfortunate incident.
Yobe State Police spokesperson, Dungus Abdulkareem, said, “It is a military affair and the police in Yobe do not have details concerning the incident.”.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that Nigerian troops have already cordoned off the area, denying any other security agents, including the Nigerian police, access to the village.
PREMIUM TIMES obtained gory pictures of wounded women, children and aged people at the Geidam General Hospital, some of the victims lying lifeless.
Yobe governor orders free medical services for victims
Meanwhile, Governor Mai Mala-Buni of Yobe has directed government hospitals in Geidam and Damaturu to offer free medical services to those who sustained injuries in the disaster.
This is contained in a statement by Mr Buni’s spokesperson, Mamman Mohammed, in Damaturu on Thursday.
Mr Buni also directed the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to provide relief materials to cater for the immediate needs of the families of the deceased persons and other members of the community.
The governor commiserated with the families of those who lost their lives in the air strike.
Mr Buni also directed his Special Adviser on Security Affairs, Dahiru Abdulsalan, to liaise with the Nigeria Air force and the Multi-National Joint Task Force to identify the root cause of the strike.
“Government will work closely with the security forces, especially the Nigeria Airforce, to establish what actually happened.
“This is very important and necessary for us to guard against future occurrence and to safeguard the lives of our people,” the governor said.
Mr Buni said the state government would always cooperate with security agencies to ensure the safety of the people.
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