The Nigerian Army has claimed responsibility for dropping a bomb on Tudun Biri in Igabi council area of Kaduna State which claimed the lives of about 30 residents on Sunday, the Kaduna State Government has said.
A bomb was reportedly dropped by a military jet during a Maulud celebration about 9.00pm on Sunday but the Nigerian Air Force had earlier denied responsibility for the killings.
The Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force, Commodore Edward Gabkwet, had said air force did not carry out any operation in Kaduna in the last 24 hours.
The State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan, said the General Officer Commanding 1 Division, Nigerian Army, and Force Commander, “Operation Whirl Punch”, Maj.-Gen V.U Okoro, has admitted that the Army was on a routine mission against terrorists when the incident happened.
Aruwan said this in a statement after the Deputy Governor, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, held a meeting with Islamic clerics, traditional rulers, and heads of security agencies at the Government House, Kaduna on Monday.
The Deputy Governor had told the meeting that the Nigerian Army had explained the circumstances that led to the unfortunate and unintended attack.
The statement said: “The General Officer Commanding 1 Division Nigerian Army, Major VU Okoro, explained that the Nigerian Army was on a routine mission against terrorists but inadvertently affected members of the community.
“The Kaduna State Government has received briefings on Sunday night’s attack which left several citizens dead and others injured.
“In a meeting presided over by the Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, which had in attendance heads of security agencies, religious and traditional leaders, the Nigerian Army explained the circumstances which led to the unfortunate and unintended attack.
“The Deputy Governor, at the end of the closed-door meeting, conveyed the condolences of the government and people of Kaduna State to the families that lost their loved ones and prayed for the repose of the victims’ souls.
“As of the time of this update, search-and-rescue efforts are still ongoing, as dozens of injured victims have been evacuated to Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital by the Government.”