Airstrikes from fighter jets targeting bandits have claimed the lives of a woman and her four children at Sububu, in Zamfara State.
Multiple sources told Daily Trust that the aircraft belonging to the Nigerian Air Force was targeting bandits at the expansive Sububu Forest located between Shinkafi and Maradun Local Governments when the unfortunate incident happened.
From the forest, they launch attacks on travellers on Sokoto-Gusau Road as well as villages in Sokoto and Zamfara States.
Sources said the aerial missions were conducted around 2 pm on Monday.
In phone interviews, four different persons confirmed to Daily Trust that the fighter jets missed their targets by dropping the bombs on the Sububu village, rather than the bandits’ enclave in the forest.
“The bombs killed a woman and her four children. Two of the kids, a boy and a girl, were teenagers. One elderly woman was also wounded in the attacks,” a Sububu resident told Daily Trust.
He said a new Friday mosque built by a bandits’ kingpin, Halilu Sububu, was also destroyed during the attacks.
The source said nobody was trapped in the mosque because the attack happened after worshippers had observed the afternoon prayers.
Another source said there was suspicion that the jets used the GPS coordinates of some expensive smartphones stolen from Sokoto that were being charged at the village.
“You know they own Sububu (village). Nobody goes there, not even security personnel and other officials,” he said.
NAF spokesperson, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, confirmed the multiple airstrikes on the area to PRNigeria, an online PR platform which usually shares official security press statements but did not comment on the deaths of the victims.
The platform reported that 120 bandits were killed by the airstrikes.
Commodore Gabkwet said the military carried out “the precision airstrikes on the armed bandits after an intelligence and identification of the locations to avoid collateral damages.”