Kaduna State Government denies “aerial attack” after bandits kill 39
The Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, has debunked the conspiracy theory that a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) helicopter carried out an attack on civilians in Kaduna. He however confirmed that gunmen on motorbikes killed 39 people on Pentecost Sunday in the villages of Dogon Noma, Ungwan Sarki and Ungwan Maikori in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna.
The viral report that a “white helicopter” was involved in the Kajuru incident was confirmed by former Kaduna central district Senator Shehu Sani.
“I was on call with a Kajuru youth leader who confirmed the massacre of 32 people by terrorists in Kaduna. The reported helicopter may not have belonged to the terrorists, but it deliberately refused to take action against the terrorists when they were killing and burning down houses,” he said.
Aruwan rejected the claim of the “white helicopter.”
“An Air Force helicopter attached to Operation Whirlpunch dispatched to the location, had earlier scanned the first two locations and sighted burnt houses and properties on fire,” he said in the statement.
“The helicopter intercepted the bandits at the last location (Ungwan Maikori) and engaged them as they retreated, before the arrival of ground troops.” he added.
“It was the arrival of the air asset which deterred the bandits from further attacks on the citizens in the village, after the bandits had already killed one local and burnt several houses. The story that a helicopter provided air support to the bandits against the locals, is therefore an untrue account.” The commissioner stressed.
The Governor of Kaduna Nasir El Rufai meanwhile has expressed sorrow and has sent condolences to the bereaved. Violence in Nigeria has been on the increase since 2015, with gangs roaming the countryside either to kill, rape or kidnap for ransom.
The Nigerian Air Force has yet to give an update on the Kajura incident.
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