Federal Government has regretted the death of over 64 persons reportedly killed during an airstrike by the Nigerian Air Force on Sunday in Mutumji Community, Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
Although some bandits were killed, locals, including women and children, also died from the air raid meant to chase terrorists who reportedly invaded the town.
NAF was responding to distress calls on Saturday and Sunday from locals following bandits’ attack on Malele, Ruwan Tofa, and Yan-Awake communities in the area.
Residents said the strike foiled the attack on the three neighbouring communities, forcing the terrorists to flee into the neighbouring Mutumji community.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who briefed journalists at the end of this week’s Federal Executive Council meeting, described the incident as “unfortunate.”
He said, “In respect of the unfortunate collateral deaths in Zamfara State, the Federal Government regrets this. Fighting insurgency is a very difficult thing. And as much as the air force or the military are careful, once in a while, it does happen. That innocent people actually also suffer. We regret it.
“But I think it is the nature of fighting insurgency, and the military are very, very careful, especially the Air Force and the army when trying to contain insurgency not to allow innocent lives to be lost. The Air Force regrets it, we regret it. But unfortunately, once in a while, it happens.”