The emerging story: Nigerian Army and Boko Haram.
Here’s the statement:
The Defence Headquarters on Sunday said it was examining the latest video from Boko Haram group purporting to show some of the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls.
Some girls wearing headscarves, in the video, were seen behind a Boko Haram militant who demanded the release of fighters in return for freeing the girls. The militant also claimed that some of the girls have been killed in air strikes.
The Director Defence Information, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar disclosed that the military is examining the video clip to verify its authenticity. He said: “Currently we are studying the video clips to verify its authenticity and analysing the comments of the speakers in the video especially the terrorist member and the girl that spoke in mother tongue.”
General Rabe also disputed allegations in the video that some of the kidnapped girls were hit by an airstrike.
He said: “It is extremely difficult and rare to hit innocent people during airstrike because the operation is done through precision attack on identified and registered targets and locations. The Precision Airstrike is very effective at taking out targeted enemies because it is not a random operation. We are nevertheless studying the video clips to examine if the victims died from other causes rather from the allegation of airstrike.
PRNigeria gathered that the Nigerian Airforce through its Component in Operation Lafiya Dole was focusing on sustaining air operations and providing support to ground troops of the Armed Forces’ strive to rid Nigeria of the Boko Haram insurgency.
Airstrikes are controlled by professionally trained officers who coordinate the strike with friendly ground troops, after a lot of surveillance to limit casualty on the ground.
A top airforce officer told PRNigeria that “Nigeria Airforce employs precision guided weapons with modern Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance systems to reduce likely collateral damage from any airstrike. All the areas stroke throughout the operation were thoroughly monitored on intelligence surveillance and eye services before the attacks or shelling. Most of the targets areas were clearly identified before the air strikes to avoid collateral damages.”
Meanwhile the Defence Headquarters has promised to issue an update after its investigation.