By Ismail Auwal
Governor Bello Mattawalle of Zamfara State has confirmed that the Nigerian Air Force killed scores of residents and soldiers during an operation in the state.
Mattawalle expressed his condolences to the victims’ families.
The state governor, in a broadcast to the people of the state on Tuesday, expressed sadness over the death of the locals.
He said, “As you are aware, on Sunday, December 18, 2022, our security forces carried out a well-coordinated aerial and ground onslaught on the enclaves of the recalcitrant bandits who were planning to invade Muntunji, Malele, and other surrounding villages.
“Several bandits have been neutralised, their settlements destroyed, and a large cache of their weaponry recovered.
“It was a complex and daring operation by our brave security forces which has immensely contributed to making the communities around Dansadau axis safer.
“This is a momentous occasion, and I want to take this opportunity to thank the brave men and women of the Nigerian Army and Air Force who have risked their lives to protect our communities.
“I am aware that in the course of the onslaught against these barbarous elements, scores of lives have been lost from the sides of the friendly communities and the security forces. Such casualties are common in complex operations like the one conducted in the area.”
The Air Force launched air strikes on a market while bombarding suspected hideouts of bandits in the state.
The airstrike reportedly killed No fewer than 68 residents at Mutunji village in the Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
The bandits were also said to have ambushed soldiers who wanted to provide ground support for the Air Force, killing 10 of them.