The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has constituted a Board of Inquiry to unravel the circumstances surrounding the alleged killing of civilians by a NAF fighter jet in Yobe State.
The director of public relations and information, NAF, Air Cdre Edward Gabkwet, in a statement said the Service has received reports that it fighter jet deployed to attack Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) erroneously killed civilians in Yobe State.
He said, “initial release denying the involvement of NAF aircraft was based on the first report available to the Air Component which was subsequently forwarded to NAF headquarters that civilians were bombed as the aircraft detailed for the mission was not carrying bombs.
“Therefore a Board of Inquiry has been set up to thoroughly investigate the circumstances of the incident,” he said.
He explained that following intelligence on Boko Haram/ISWAP movements along the Kamadougou Yobe River line, an aircraft from the Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai was detailed to respond to the suspected terrorists’ activities in the area along the Nigeria/Niger border at about 0600hrs on Wednesday, September 15, 2021.
Air Cdre Gabkwet said the aircraft while operating South of Kanama observed suspicious movement consistent with Boko Haram terrorists behaviour whenever a Jet aircraft is overhead.
“Accordingly, the pilot fired some probing shots,” he said.
He noted that the area is well known for continuous Boko Haram/ISWAP activities, adding that “Unfortunately reports reaching Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Headquarters alleged that some civilians were erroneously killed while others were injured.”