Air strikes by men of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) against suspected bases of insurgents at Daglun, a border village of Askira Uba in Adamawa State, has claimed 20 civilians.
NAF had yesterday intensified its offensive in the area to dislodge members of the Boko Haram sect, who have killed dozens of people in Adamawa villages in the last one week.
Residents and hospital sources said that, besides the victims, 25 others were wounded during the raid.
The incident came less than 24 hours after Governor Murtala Nyako was forced to cancel his tour of villages attacked by insurgents last week.
A resident of the village claimed that at least 20 villagers were killed and 25 others, mostly the aged, wounded when NAF personnel struck.
At the Mubi General Hospital, a senior medical worker told our reporter that the injured were brought to the hospital for treatment.
‘’I cannot officially give you details of the casualty or those that were injured because I am not permitted to talk to the press; I can only tell you that many lives were lost and some were rushed to hospital for treatment,’’ he said.
Prior to the air strikes, most residents had fled the area in anticipation of a full-scale military offensive on the border towns and villages.
A community leader in the area who didn’t want to be named confirmed the incident. He said that the air strikes occurred while the villagers were going about their normal businesses. “We counted 20 dead bodies while those injured were rushed to hospital. The people that remained in the village are mostly women and aged people because the younger ones have since fled for fear of being attacked by Boko Haram insurgents. Many of the wounded have been rushed to Mubi General Hospital,’’ he stated.
A survivor of the attack who simply identified himself as Baba said there were no Boko Haram members in the area, describing the NAF attack as unwarranted.
When contacted, the spokesman of the 23rd Armoured Brigade, Yola, Captain Jafaru Nuhu, said he was not aware of the incident, but a security official who did not want his name in print said some “terrorists” were killed in previous air strikes, adding that the latest air strikes took place in the remote Sambisa forest where insurgents camped.