Defence Headquarters on Tuesday said the military operation where over 85 innocent villagers were accidentally bombed was targeted by terrorists.
The Director of Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. Edward Buba said the Defence Headquarters views civilian deaths during troops’ operations as needless tragedy.
“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.”
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.
Buba provided a detailed account of the events leading up to the tragedy, stating that security personnel noticed suspicious activities and movements of terrorists in the vicinity. In response, drones were deployed to monitor the situation closely.
He emphasised that the presence of terrorists in the community posed a serious threat to critical infrastructure and the safety of residents. As a result, measures were taken to eliminate the perceived threat and ensure the safety of the area.
The statement reads, “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.
“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, which causes the armed forces to take extensive measures to avoid them.
“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.
“These instructions are intended to enable the military to distinguish between friendly and untoward activities.”