Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

The Nigerian military has denied accusations of retaliatory attacks in Delta state after residents of the area were accused of burning the village of Okuma in response to the deaths of 16 soldiers.

Videos circulated on social media showing burning houses along the southern Forcados River, but they have not been verified.

Residents of the area accused the army of directing the attack on the village of Okumama after the soldiers were reported dead last Saturday.

The army said the soldiers were killed after being surrounded by youths from the area on Thursday, while trying to mediate between the residents of Okumama village and the residents of Okuluba village.

Late on Monday, Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Edward Bubba denied the accusations of reprisals as “fake news.”

“The military refutes all allegations that the army-initiated revenge attacks in the village of Okuma after the incident. The village was deserted even before the soldiers arrived.”

Nigerian President Paula Ahmed Tinobo announced on Sunday that he had given the military full authority to bring to justice anyone found responsible for the soldiers’ killings.

Nigeria has previously faced accusations of revenge for the deaths of its soldiers, including the 2001 Zaki Bayam massacre in eastern Beniu state and the 1999 Audi massacre when the military killed hundreds of people in South Bayelsa State.

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