BREAKING: Nigerian Army chief visits Kaduna after deadly military bombing that killed 85, pledges support to victims

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja has paid a condolence visit to Tudun Biri community in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State which was affected by the airstrike that claimed dozens of lives.

Sunday’s incident is one of the country’s deadliest military bombing accidents.

The Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, revealed this in a statement and photos shared on the official X handle of the Nigerian Army on Tuesday.

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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.

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According to the statement issued by the Nwachukwu, Lagbaja mentioned that the troops were carrying out aerial patrols when they observed a group of people wrongly analyzed and misinterpreted to be bandits, before the drone strike. He expressed sincere regrets and apologised on behalf of the Nigerian Army to the people of the community.

The statement read, “The Army Chief arrived the community in the early hours of Tuesday, December 5 2023, accompanied by Principal Staff Officers from the Army Headquarters and the General Officer Commanding 1 Division, where he met with the Dangaladima Zazau, the District Head of Rigasa, Architect Aminu Idris, other leaders and members of the community.

“The COAS in an emotion laden speech expressed regrets on the unfortunate mishap, describing it as a very disheartening occurrence. Gen. Lagbaja noted that in the recent past, the general area of Tudun Biri and adjoining villages were infested with armed bandits, who terrorised the communities, until troops of the Nigerian Army started conducting operations to sanitize the area and make it habitable.

“He pointed out, that the troops were carrying out aerial patrols when they observed a group of people and wrongly analyzed and misinterpreted their pattern of activities to be similar to that of the bandits, before the drone strike.

“The COAS stated that he was in Tudun Biri to personally witness the site of the mishap and to convey sincere regrets and unreserved apologies on behalf of the Nigerian Army to the District Head and people of the community, as well as the government and entire people of Kaduna State.

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“He disclosed that he has ordered a thorough inquiry into the incident to ascertain and identify areas of deficiency that led to the inadvertent disaster, adding that the findings and overarching outcome of the investigation will guide the NA in meticulously and professionally seeking and applying lasting solutions to identified lapses and deficiencies in both the human and Artificial Intelligence variables that will forestall future recurrence.

“The Chief of Army Staff equally visited affected victims at the Barua Dikko Teaching Hospital Anguwan Rimi, Kaduna, where he expressed concern for the speedy recuperation of the hospitalized persons and made an immediate donation of several provisions for their upkeep.”

The statement further read that the District Head of Rigasa, Aminu Idris, said despite the enormity of the incident, the Nigerian Army showed integrity in accepting responsibility for the drone strike and urged its leadership to intervene in bringing succour to hospitalized victims and the community for their losses.

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