Nigerian Air Force jets struck bandits at Sububu, in Zamfara State, killing a mother and her four children, according to multiple sources.
Sububu village is located between Shinkafi and Maradun local governments in the vicinity of the expansive Sububu Forest.
Bandits use the Sububu Forest as a hideout from where they attack travelers on the Sokoto-Gusau road as well as villages in Sokoto and Zamfara states.
The aerial missions were conducted around 2pm on Monday, according to sources.
In separate phone interviews, four people confirmed to Daily Trust that the fighter jets missed their targets by dropping bombs on Sububu village rather than the bandits’ enclave in the forest.
“The bombs killed a Hausa mother and her four children. A boy and a girl were teenagers. An elderly Fulani woman was also wounded in the attacks,” a Sububu resident told Daily Trust.
The attacks destroyed a new Friday mosque built by a bandits’ kingpin, Halilu Sububu.
Apparently no one was trapped in the mosque since the attack took place after worshippers had observed afternoon prayers.
A second source told Daily Trust that there was suspicion the jets used the GPS coordinates of stolen smartphones from Sokoto that were being charged at the village.
„You know Sububu (village) belongs to them. “Not even security personnel or other officials go there,” he said.
Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, the NAF spokesperson, confirmed the multiple airstrikes on the area to PRNigeria, an online PR platform which normally shares official security press releases.
The platform reported that 120 bandits were killed in the airstrikes.
In an interview with Commodore Gabkwet, he said the military carried out “precision airstrikes on the armed bandits after gathering intelligence and identifying their locations to avoid collateral damage.”