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Amnesty International condemns military over accidental bombing in Kaduna

This incident is marked as the deadliest air strike since the 2017 tragedy in Rann village, which claimed the lives of 115 civilians.

Victims of Kaduna village bombing get mass burial. [Punch]

The incident occurred on Sunday, December 03, 2023, sending shockwaves through the nation.

Amnesty International termed the "persistent unlawful killings of civilians" through military air strikes as "unacceptable."

The organisation accused the Nigerian military of engaging in a cover-up and has vehemently demanded that justice be served in the matter.

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According to Amnesty, the Nigerian military provided conflicting explanations for the incident. Initially, the Nigerian army in Kaduna released a statement admitting that the air strike was a mistake.

However, Nigeria's Defence Headquarters later contradicted this, asserting that suspected bandits had taken refuge among civilians.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, the victims were laid to rest in two mass graves on December 4, 2023.

Isa Sanusi, the Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, expressed deep concern over the lack of accountability, stating, "The Nigerian military’s recklessness is a result of the authorities’ consistent failure to hold them to account for a long list of such atrocities. These unlawful killings of civilians cannot be swept under the carpet."

Amnesty International urged the administration of President Bola Tinubu to promptly establish an independent inquiry into the Tudun Biri village air strike.

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The group emphasised that if investigations indicate criminal responsibility, those suspected to be responsible must face justice through fair trials.

Additionally, the organisation stressed the importance of providing victims and their families with access to justice and effective remedies.

The rights group emphasised the disturbing trend of air strikes causing civilian casualties, citing previous incidents. On December 18, 2022, an air strike by the Nigerian Air Force resulted in the death of 64 people in Mutumji village, Zamfara state.

On January 24, 2023, a military air strike killed over 40 herders in the Doma region of Nasarawa state.

In another incident in January 2023, dozens of vigilantes lost their lives in Galadima Kogo, Niger state, due to a military air strike.

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This incident is marked as the deadliest air strike since the 2017 tragedy in Rann village, which claimed the lives of 115 civilians.

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