Posted by News Express | 18 June 2015 | 3,577 times
Chad said this afternoon that its warplanes bombed Boko Haram positions in neighbouring Nigeria to avenge twin suicide bombings in the capital this week blamed on the jihadists.
The claim was, however, quickly dismissed by the Nigerian military.
“In response to the cowardly and barbaric acts perpetrated by Boko Haram terrorists . . . the armed forces carried out reprisal air strikes on the terrorists’ positions in Nigerian territory on Wednesday,” Chad’s military said in a statement.
Six Boko Haram bases were destroyed in the air raids, which caused “considerable human and material losses,” it said, without giving further details.
Nigeria’s Defence Headquarters swiftly dismissed the claim. Director of Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade, said in a statement e-mailed to News Express:
“The fact is that the Nigerian Airforce surveillance mission identified targets tagged as Camp 6 around Bosso town which is not within Nigeria’s territory and alerted the partners accordingly. The places reported to have been struck by the Chadians are therefore most likely to be in Niger Republic and not Nigeria as widely reported in the international media.
“Although the terms of the multilateral and bilateral understanding with partners in the war against terror allow some degree of hot pursuit against the terrorists, the territory of Nigeria has not been violated as insinuated in the reports circulated in some foreign media.
“The Nigerian military will continue to cooperate with partners in the mission to exterminate or contain terrorists strictly in conformity with existing terms of the Concept of Operation at strategic, operational or tactical levels.
“It is however important that issues are accurately reported while avoiding misleading or unnecessary sensationalism from any quarter.”
Reports from Niger Republic confirmed that Boko Haram insurgents attacked two villages in that country’s southern Diffa region overnight, killing at least 30 civilians.
The attackers reportedly drove into the villages in the Gueskerou area with cars and motorbikes and shot residents before setting fire to the mostly straw thatched houses where others were hiding.
•Photo shows air strike in progress.
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