Idris Dahiru, a resident of Tudun Biri in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State says he lost 34 members of his extended family when a Nigerian Army’s bomb dropped on his community on Sunday evening.
He spoke on a BBC Hausa Service interview shortly after the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, visited Tudun Biri village.
Lagbaja apologised to members of the community for the incident and donated N10 million for the upkeep of those receiving treatment.
Dahiru, in his BBC interview, said: “Our annual Maulud celebration was shattered by unexpected airstrikes. The first bomb exploded without warning, killing innocent people, including women and children, some victims were torn apart by the blast.
“As we rushed to aid the injured, the jet returned, unleashing a second bomb. This time, many of those who had come to help were among the casualties.
“My family alone has lost 34 members in this tragedy. We have 66 loved ones receiving medical care at Barau Dikko hospital,” he added.
The army chief explained that the incident occurred while the troops were conducting armed reconnaissance along Riyawa and Rimawa villages where the movement of suspected bandits was observed.
“Having trailed them for sometimes, the decision was taken to conducts a strike based on the observations of tactics usually employed by bandits.
“Unfortunately, the report we got thereafter revealed that it was innocent civilians in Tudun Biri that the drone carried out the strike on,” the COAS added.
He said this made him to make the urgent and essential visit to the village to commiserate with the community on the unfortunate incident.
He assured the villagers that a thorough investigation had commenced on the matter even before the directive to that effect by President Bola Tinubu.
The COAS stressed that the Nigerian Army as a responsible public organisation, would support the families of those who died and the ones injured, as well as the entire community to alleviate their sufferings.
He urged members of the community not to be deterred by the incident in their support to the Nigerian Army and other security agencies battling to ensure peace and stability across the state and Nigeria as a whole.
Responding, the District Head of Rigasa, Aminu Idris, who received the COAS, described the drone attack as unfortunate, adding that people in the community had suffered attacks by bandits.
Mr Idris appreciated the COAS for the visit and urged troops of the Nigerian army to do their best in protecting the live and properties of citizens.
He expressed the hope that the Nigerian Army would compensate families of the deceased to ameliorate their sufferings.
NAN report that the COAS had earlier visited the Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital in Kaduna to commiserate with some of the victims of the attack receiving treatment.