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Military denies alleged killing of civillians in Borno State

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The Nigerian military has refuted alleged killing of civilians in airstrikes by Operation Lafiya Dole (OPLD) at Shokotoko village in Damboa council area of Borno State.

Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, in a statement yesterday in Abuja, said: “The April 9, 2020 military operations were based on credible intelligence reports from ground armed forces and other security agencies.

“The operations were also based on reliable, vetted informants, who confirmed that the target location was occupied mainly by Boko Haram terrorists.”
He explained that the helicopter that executed the mission was accompanied by an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft to ensure proper targeting.

Enenche went on: “The proper targeting was to prevent any collateral damage on civilians in Sambisa Forest.”

“It must be noted that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) pilots, by training and in line with extant rules of engagement (ROEs) for the operation, do not attack any location if it is observed that non-combatants, including women and children, are present.

“In such cases, the pilots would rather return to base with their munitions unexpended.”He said on the strength of the foregoing, the location was considered a legitimate target.The spokesman noted that an investigation was being carried out upon which an appropriate action would be taken in due course.

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