By Aliyu Dangida
…….As orders probe
Eighty-Five were killed in an air strike by the Nigerian Army at Tudun Biri village in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State, in one of the country’s deadliest military bombing accidents.
The North-West zonal spokesman of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Halima Suleiman, told Channels Television that 66 other victims were also injured in Sunday’s bombing.
She said the fatality figure was gotten from the local authorities after the burial of the victims on Monday.
“The Northwest Zonal Office has received details from the local authorities that 85 dead bodies have so far been buried while a search is still ongoing,” NEMA said.
However, emergency officials were still negotiating with community leaders to calm tensions to be able to reach the village.
Tinubu Orders Probe
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Tuesday ordered an investigation after the army acknowledged one of its drones accidentally struck Tudun Biri village as residents were celebrating a Muslim festival.
The army did not give any casualty figures, but residents had said 85 people, many of them women and children, had been killed in the incident.
“President Tinubu describes the incident as very unfortunate, disturbing, and painful, expressing indignation and grief over the tragic loss of Nigerian lives,” the presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale said in a statement.
Army Chief Lagbaja Visits
Also the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, has visited Kaduna State.
The army chief’s move is also for an on-the-spot assessment of the community and to condole with the families of the victims.
Sunday’s incident is one of the country’s deadliest military bombing accidents.
Earlier, the army acknowledged one of its drones aimed at armed groups had accidentally struck the Tudun Biri village as residents were celebrating a Muslim festival. Though the army did not give any casualty figures, residents had said 85 people, many of them women and children, had been killed.
It also said its drone was a routine mission that “inadvertently affected members of the community”.
Nigeria’s armed forces often rely on air strikes in their battle against so-called bandit militias in the northwest and northeast of the country, where jihadists have been fighting for more than a decade.