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Scores feared killed in Zamfara airstrikes

Scores of people have been feared killed in Kukawa village of Maradun Local Government Area of Zamfara State during airstrikes by the troops of the Nigerian Army under Operation Hadarin Daji.

This was as the army denied the killing of any civilian in the state saying the military was fighting bandits and not the innocent people of the state.

An indigene of the village, Musa Abubakar who narrowly escaped told The PUNCH on Friday that his community was performing the Eid El Fitr prayer last Wednesday when the Nigerian Air Force bombarded the area.

Abubakar said the bombardment led to the death of no fewer than 40 people.

He said, “We were performing the Eid El Fitr prayer when we saw a plane approaching the area.

“Immediately the plane approached the Eid praying ground, we heard a terrifying sound and everybody took to their heels

“I was one of the lucky ones who escaped unhurt but several people were killed and many others sustained various degrees of injuries.

“I lost 13 people who are my blood relations while two others.”

However, another person from the village who sought anonymity said the bombardment of the village was a result of gunshots from the suspected bandits who targeted the military aircraft.

He said, “The aircraft was passing over the village and suddenly the bandits started shooting toward its direction

“This forced the military to drop several bombs in the village during the Eid El Fitr prayer and many people lost their lives.”

Speaking to PUNCH Online on the phone, the spokesperson of Operation Hadarin Daji, Lieutenant Suleiman Omale, said the military was fighting bandits and not the innocent people of the state.

He added that he was not aware of any civilians killed during the bombardment.

“We are fighting bandits, not the innocent Nigerians. I am not aware of any civilian that was killed during the operation.”

Recall that The PUNCH reported on Sunday that airstrikes by the air components of Operation Hadin Kai and Hadrin Daji killed terrorists planning to attack soft targets.

The strikes were conducted at various terrorist hideouts in Katsina and Borno states.

In Katsina, a terrorist enclave located Northwest of Yartsamiya Village in Danmusa Local Government Area was bombed.

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