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Military ‘proves’ no Chibok girl killed by airstrikes

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Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar

Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar

• Says 8000 B’Haram members surrender
• Troops kill three terrorists, free 88 captives

Authorities of the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) have denied claims in a recent video by Boko Haram that some of the Chibok Girls were killed in aerial bombardments.

The NAF said that having reviewed the video critically, it arrived at the conclusion that the clip was a mere publicity stunt by the sect.

A statement by NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa, says: “It is pertinent to state that the video is not only a ruse but also another mischievous effort by the dying sect to draw public attention to itself. Whereas the video showed a cross section of the abducted girls and an airborne aircraft, it provided no evidence that the supposed casualties were as a result of any air-to-ground attack.

“More so, there is sufficient evidence to believe that the casualties were arranged, as the positioning of the bodies clearly defies any natural setting of a location that has undergone aerial bombardment.

“Besides, the impact and accompanying degree of damage to the bodies would have been more, were they to have died from airstrike. It is, therefore, clear that the video is a make-up story to discredit the NAF, and more importantly, a deliberate effort to whip up sentiment among the public, in order to discontinue the use of airpower, which has proved very effective as the major determinant factor in the successes recorded in the ongoing counter-insurgency operations in the North East.”

Famuyiwa explained that conscious efforts were put in place by the NAF to ensure that collateral damage was avoided throughout the operations to decimate the insurgents.

“Considerable effort is committed to undertaking Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, both day and night, to ensure that only legitimate military targets are engaged,” he said.

Meanwhile, the military said about 8000 Boko Haram members have voluntarily surrendered to its ‘Operation Safe Corridor’ in the North East.

The Director of Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Rabe Abubakar, disclosed this, yesterday, in Abuja at a lecture organised by the FCT Correspondents’ Chapel of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ).

Abubakar said the insurgents concerned were in a camp in Gombe, waiting to be ‘deradicalised’ by the military.

He also disclosed that more than 10,000 Boko Haram captives had been rescued by the military, and that while some had been reunited with their families, others had been taken to Internally Displaced Person’s (IDP) camps.

Abubakar said Boko Haram had been decimated by the military and that government was working on the rehabilitation of victims and reconstruction of affected areas.

Meanwhile, troops have killed three Boko Haram terrorists and rescued 88 captives during operations in three villages of Wadama, Izakah and Kalizaram in the Monguno area of Borno State.

The soldiers also recovered arms, ammunition, five horses, and donkeys, after the six-hour engagement.

Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, disclosed this yesterday in a statement issued to newsmen in Maiduguri.


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