Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says it has killed Boko Haram insurgents who attacked Garkida community of Gombi Local Government Area of Adamawa State recently.
The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said this in Maiduguri on Sunday while reacting to allegations that his men failed to respond to call to bomb the insurgents when the attack was going on.
But Abubakar said though the Air Force responded to the attack, it could not do anything because of the confusion in the town during the attack.
He noted that since it was difficult for the pilots to identify the insurgents, it is better to refrain from bombing to avoid civilians’ casualties.
Abubakar, who sympathised with the families and victims of the attack, however noted that NAF had successfully neutralized the insurgents hibernating the area.
“Air Force was there but the pilot used their Rules-of-Engagement to determine whether that dropping bombs over Garkida would have killed more innocent people than the Boko Haram that attacked the town.
“After all, we can trace where the insurgents came from which is exactly what we have done in the night, the IRS platform was on top and identified where they are.
“Early in the morning our platforms attacked and neutralised them, they will never be around to kill anybody again.
“I think that makes more sense rather than you have an aircraft in the space; you are not sure who and where are the Boko Haram insurgents? Are you going to drop bombs on women and children and civilians?
“No, we do not do that – we have Rules-of-Engagement, where it is convenient to attack, we drop bombs, where we think it make more sense to hold on and get the criminals who are the real people we want to deal with to where we can deal with them without killing innocent persons.
“And that was what the pilots did and it is an excellent decision”.
“It is an unfortunate incident; war is tragic, in war there are tragic events that you cannot rule out completely.
The CAS reiterated NAF commitment to end insurgency, protect lives and property as well as national territorial integrity.