The Defence Headquarters on Tuesday expressed deep regret over civilian deaths during troops’ operations, considering such incidents as needless tragedies.
Maj. Gen. Edward Buba, the Director of Defence Media Operations, made this statement in response to the accidental bombing in Tudun Biri, Kaduna State, which resulted in the reported deaths of at least 85 villagers on Sunday.
Buba explained that the military, observing suspicious activities and movement of terrorists in the area, utilized drones to address the perceived threat to key infrastructure and residents.
He acknowledged the deliberate tactic of terrorists to mingle with civilians, making it challenging to avoid civilian casualties.
The statement read, “On December 3, 2023, at about 2200hrs and based on untoward activities of terrorists. The NA UAV detachment observed the movement of terrorists at Ligarma, a terrorist-infested area of Kaduna State.
“Aerial surveillance captured the movement of groups of persons synonymous with the terrorist tactics and modus operandi.
“The observed advance of the terrorists that were gathered posed a threat to key infrastructure within reach of the untoward activities. Accordingly, the threat was eliminated to prevent the terrorists from unleashing terror on innocent civilians. ”
He explained that terrorists sometimes mix with citizens to ensure they are among the casualties.
Buba noted that the military takes the death of civilians as a tragedy, adding that the military always tries to avoid such incidents.
Highlighting the military’s commitment to distinguishing between civilians and terrorists, Buba emphasized that each civilian death in operations is considered a tragedy, and extensive measures are taken to prevent such incidents.
The military encourages residents to alert troops about their activities, especially in areas known to be infested with terrorists.
Buba assured that the military would continue to operate in compliance with international laws and remain cautious in ongoing operations against terrorists, addressing challenges and finding innovative solutions to counter the tactics used by terrorists who disguise themselves as civilians.