Nigeria

DHQ debunks allegations of mass burial bandits killed in Zamfara

Director Defence Information, Major General Benjamin Sawyer, who made this known described the video which has been trending online as false and malicious and has no link whatsoever with the operations being conducted by troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria(AFN).

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has denied rumours making the rounds of the gory pictures and videos of persons allegedly killed by soldiers in the ongoing military operations in the North West and North Central geographical zones of the country being dumped into a mass grave.

Director Defence Information, Major General Benjamin Sawyer, who made this known described the video which has been trending online as false and malicious and has no link whatsoever with the operations being conducted by troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria(AFN).

Sawyer, while noting that the military is presently conducting intensive operations against bandits, kidnappers and other criminals terrorizing the peace of the state in line with its constitutional roles, however, noted that the operations are being conducted in strict compliance with the rules of armed conflicts, utmost professional manner, strict adherence to rules of engagement and respect for fundamental human rights and dignity.

The DDI in a statement issued in Abuja reads; “The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has been notified of a trending picture with the caption “Alhamdulillah. ZamfaraMustSecure” and several other viral gory pictures and videos of dumping into a mass grave of persons purportedly to have been killed in the ongoing military operations in the North West and North Central geographical zones of the country.

“It is pertinent to state that the allegation is false and malicious and has no link whatsoever with the operations being conducted by troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN).

“However, it is true that the AFN is presently conducting successful military operations against bandits and kidnappers in line with its constitutional roles. These operations are conducted in strict compliance with the rules of armed conflicts, utmost professional manner, strict adherence to rules of engagement and respect for fundamental human rights and dignity.

“The viral pictures being circulated have nothing in common with the ongoing operations. This callous action of linking ongoing operations with falsehood is deliberate and thus, seeks to tarnish the good image and reputation of the AFN.

“For the record, the AFN conducts a fortnightly defence media operations brief in which pictures of the operations are displayed to complement achievements in the ongoing operations. Any attempt therefore to portray the AFN in a bad light as a crude force is unacceptable and unpatriotic.

“We, therefore, urge the general public to please disregard the gory pictures. The AFN will not rest on its oars in performing the Constitutional mandate of ensuring that our nation remains safe and peaceful for all law-abiding citizens.

“You are please requested to disseminate to the awareness of the general public. Thank you for your support and cooperation.”

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