The Niger State Government has debunked reports that a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jet targeting bandits killed six children in the state.
Spokesperson of the Coalition of Shiroro Associations (COSA), Salis Sambo, had claimed that six children were killed in an airstrike by NAF in Kurebe, Shiroro Local Government of the State on Wednesday, 13th April, 2022, while the children were on their way back from the borehole.
Sambo, in a statement said one of the victims who lost two of his daughters and two grand daughters in the incident said there was no presence of terrorist within the village during the incident.
Reacting, the State Government in a statement by the Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy Affairs and Internal Security, Emmanuel Umar, said that there is currently no civilian population in the restive areas due to ongoing military operations.
Umar said the villagers in the combat areas are in internally displaced persons camp in the state.
Part of the statement read: “The attention of the Niger state government has been drawn to a report making the rounds on social media and other media platforms suggesting that some civilians were killed at Kurebe in Shiroro local government area as a result of the ongoing Air and ground operations by the military and other security agencies in the state.
“To the best of the knowledge of the state government, there are no civilians residing in these areas for some time now due to the infiltrations and activities of the terrorists which forced the locals to seek shelter as IDPs in other parts of the state.
“The Niger state government welcomes the ongoing intensified military operations in neighbouring states and in some local government areas in Niger state which include Shiroro, Munya, and other LGAs which is aimed at neutralising bandits/terrorists in these environments.
“The efforts of the joint operations have yielded a lot of success and the state is happy as many bandits/terrorists have already been eliminated in the affected LGAs.”