Home NEWS We Did Not Target Fishermen In Lake Chad, Military Leadership Swears

We Did Not Target Fishermen In Lake Chad, Military Leadership Swears

The Defence Headquarters has debunked what it calle “misguided media reports” trending in the social media alleging that troops killed 20 Fishermen in an Air Strike in Kwatan Daban Masara on Sunday 26 Sep 21, around the Lake Tchad  area of North East Nigeria.

The military high command said in a statement today, September 30 that contrary to the report, the interdiction targeted and neutralised clearly identified ISWAP terrorists and not fishermen.

“It is thus pertinent to make clarifications  on the air interdiction recently conducted in the general area by OPHK.”

The statement by the Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Bernard Onyeuko said that the operation was carried out in response to credible Intelligence report on the  movement and operation of Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists massed up within the forested area, and after thorough analysis of the intelligence report was conducted between 19 August and 23 September 2021.

“Special Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaisance (ISR) mission was also carried out, which confirmed the area as the terrorists’ staging area. Further confirmatory reconnaissance revealed that the observed movements and activities were of ISWAP, dressed in the usual ISWAP-styled uniform.

“The terrorists used the thick folliage for cover and concealment to carry out their nefarious activities. They disguised as fishermen, with canoes loaded with unidentified items, berthed along the river bank. They were however observed not engaging in any fishing activity, but loading their canoes with unidentified items to be ferried to other locations.

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“It is also very essential to point out that the ban on fishing activities within that general axis is still in force. It is equally of importance, to note that there was no presence of women and children in the area. Troops also ensured that civilian settlements were not in any way along the line of fire and strikes in order to prevent collateral damage that may arise in the conduct of the air strikes.

It was after all these considerations that an air interdiction was carried out on the terrorists’ camp on Sunday, 26 Sep, 2021.

“The Defence Headquarters therefore wishes to unambiguously state  that necessary steps were taken to ascertain the presence of the terrorists before the interdiction.

OPHK will continue to safe guard lives and property of innocent civilians. We urge members of the public not to be swayed by the trending misinformation.

“It is crucial to reiterate that the mandate of OPHK remains to conduct Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency operations against all adversaries fighting the nation in North East Nigeria.

“We will continue to remain focused and dedicated to that mandate in defence of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of our country, Nigeria. We call on the good people of Borno state, and the north east in general to continue to avail troops with credible information for operational enhancement.”

 

 

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