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Probe ‘accidental air strike’ in Yobe, Amnesty international tells FG

Amnesty International has asked the federal government to investigate a military air strike that “accidentally killed nine people” in Yobe state.

A Nigerian Air Force jet was said to have been targeting the Islamic State in West African Province (ISWAP) terrorist group, but accidentally hit Buwari and other communities in Yunusari LGA of the state.

In a statement released on Friday by Isa Sanusi, the media manager of Amnesty International in Nigeria, the organisation called on the federal government to also look into the incident where a military helicopter allegedly opened fire on a cargo boat conveying foodstuff from Port Harcourt to Bonny in Rivers state.

According to Sanusi, Osai Ojigho, Amnesty International director in Nigeria, said the Nigerian government must immediately investigate “the horrific incidents” in Yobe and Rivers states.

Amnesty International is calling on the Nigerian authorities to conduct an independent and impartial investigation into the recent military air strike that killed at least 9 people and injured 20 people on 15 September, when Nigerian Air Force fighter jets targeted several villages in Yobe state, including Buwari, Bulabulin, Matari, Malari and Kajinjiri,” the statement reads.

“Similarly, on 26 August, a wooden passenger boat ferrying passengers and their goods from Port Harcourt to Bonny in Rivers state was targeted by a military helicopter, injuring several passengers.

“Amnesty International is calling for full reparations for the relatives of those killed in the strikes, as well as remedy for other victims in previous military air strikes – including compensation, restitution and rehabilitation. Nigerian military must abide by international law in future military operations and protect lives of civilians.

“Anyone suspected of criminal responsibility should be prosecuted in a fair trial. Survivors and families of the victims should be kept informed of the progress of the investigation and be given full reparation.

“Previous incident in the North East of Nigeria and Niger Delta region were met with deafening silence and outright denial by the military while devastated families suffer in silence.”

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