Airstrike: We regret collateral deaths in Zamfara… fighting insurgency is difficult, says FG

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The federal government has expressed regret over the death of residents in Maru LGA of Zamfara, following a recent military operation in a community in the area.

 

Scores of persons — including several villagers — were reportedly killed during a raid by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).

 

The raid was said to have been targeted at fleeing bandits, who invaded the area.

 

Speaking earlier on the incident, Bello Matawalle, governor of Zamfara, had said “several bandits” were killed during the raid, which took place over the weekend.

 

He, however, did not give details on civilian fatalities.

 

Speaking after the federal executive council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday, Lai Mohammed, minister of information, said the federal government regrets the “collateral deaths”.

 

“In respect of the unfortunate collateral deaths in Zamfara state, I think the federal government regrets this,” he said.

 

 “Fighting insurgency is a very difficult thing. And as much as the air force or the military are careful, once in a while, it does happen — that innocent people actually also suffer. We will regret it.

 

“But I think it is the nature of fighting insurgency, and the military are very, very careful, especially the air force and the army when trying to contain insurgency, not to allow innocent lives to be killed.

 

“The air force regrets it; we regret it. But unfortunately, once in a while, it happens.”

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