… As unconfirmed Military sources claim bombardment, right on ISWAP target
The Nigerian Air Force is yet to react days after its fighter jets wrongly bombed a fish market in Daban Masara in the Lake Chad region with initial death toll estimated at 20.
However, a resident and a victim of the attacks said no fewer than 50 people died in the bombing.
The victim who sustained a leg injury, said civilians said to be mainly fishermen and had nothing to do with the terrorists were killed.
“At least 50 people were killed instantly… including my friend who got married just three weeks ago,” said Husaini, who was a victim.
The other resident, said locals had been fishing despite a military ban on the trade because of allegations the sales of fish are funding the Islamic State West Africa Province insurgent group.
The resident said they saw the corpses of at least 60 people after the air force’s strike.
“They are innocent people like us that depend on fishing to sustain their living. Their mistake is that they were fishing in an area restricted by security forces,” said the resident.
On Monday, Labo Sani, a fisherman from Kwatar Daban Masara, told the AFP the village on the shore of the lake was “gateway to the ISWAP camps on several islands”.
He said he had witnessed the strike, which occurred on Sunday at 6am.
Another fisherman, Sallau Arzika, said the fighter jet struck the village “killing many of our people who are there for fishing”.
“The initial death toll was around 20, but the figure has been increasing with the deaths of many of the injured,” Arzika said.
A United Nations security report reviewed by Reuters confirmed the strike and said one fisherman was killed and six wounded.
The wrong bombardment came about two weeks after a similar incident in Yobe.
Then an Air Force jet with intent to destroy and ISWAP camp bombed Buhari village, killing nine people.
Recall that only two months ago, the U.S. government transferred six A-29 Super Tucano fighter planes to Nigeria to assist in its war against Islamist militants.
Meanwhile, Nigeria military appears not to have any apology over the bombardment of a fishing village, Daban Masara, in Kukawa LGA of Borno state.
Amid reports accusing the Nigerian Air Force of hitting a wrong target, the military authorities are cocksure the jets accurately hit the intended target, ISWAP terrorists and their civilian collaborators.
According to a report by PR Nigeria, at least 28 terrorists affiliated to the Islamic State of the West African Province (ISWAP) and their collaborators were neutralised.
An earlier report by Reuters put the death toll at 50.
But the military authorities said the victims were delivering logistics to ISWAP when they were killed in Daban Masara.
Daban Masara, in Kukawa LGA, is located deep in the North of Lake Chad forest, about two-hour drive to Kukawa town.
The sources, who are deployed in the North East Theatre Command, in Borno State, said the ISWAP elements and their collaborators including their fishermen, were killed in a coordinated ground and aerial strikes by the Nigerian military.
According to a military source, the location was an area administered by ISWAP terrorists, which also served as a meeting point where weapons, fuel, food items, motorcycles and other logistics are delivered to the terrorists.
“The location has no residents or households and fishing has been banned in the area. It harbours only the terrorists, their allies and workers in the fishing business.
“Some of the ISWAP fighters at the location were placed on standby, and were only awaiting directive from the leadership of their ISWAP to launch ambush attacks against troops of the NA,” he said.
The source, further disclosed that many of the ISWAP insurgents injured in the Sunday military raid refused to go to any hospital for treatment, over fear that they will be arrested.
Meanwhile, some Senior Commanders of ISWAP namely Amir Ibn-Umar, Muhammed Dan-Fulani, Amir Doctor and Malam Bashir, undertook sympathy visits to the ISWAP victims (of Sunday’s airstrikes) at their den, on Monday.
Ibn-Umar said: “On behalf of Aba-Ibrahim, the Wali, we are here to extend our sympathy to you over the sad incident that occurred on Sunday which led to the death of some of our own, as well as some fishermen.”
The ISWAP Commander said the attack on them was due to the activities of fifth columnists among them, who exposed their activities to the Nigerian military.
He warned them to be careful and make sure they always hide under trees to evade air raids launched by military jets.
A top military intelligence officer confirmed the airstrike to PRNigeria.
He added that the military authorities in Abuja would soon issue a statement on the success of the operations on the Lake Chad axis with footages