JUST IN: DHQ Denies Reprisal Attacks, Says There ‘ll Still Be Consequences

DHQ Denies Reprisal Attacks, Says There 'll Still Be Consequences

DHQ Denies Reprisal Attacks, Says There ‘ll Still Be Consequences

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The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has denied reports of reprisal attacks on Okuama community in Delta State following the killing of 16 Army personnel of the 181 Amphibious Battalion in the State last Thursday, saying there would, however, be consequences for killing Service personnel on peace keeping mission.

A statement by the director, Defence Media Operations, Major General Edward Buba, said the personnel were on a peace mission to Okuama community of Delta State, when members of the community launched unprovoked attacks killing the Commanding Officer of 181 Amphibious Battalion, two Majors, one Capt and 12 personnel of the battalion.

Major General Buba noted that misleading reports of reprisal attacks on the community was false as it was deserted even before troops arrived at the scene.

“The military assures that there would be measured responses and injurious consequences for the perpetrators of these dastardly act. Nevertheless, the Armed Forces being a disciplined force that complies with rules of engagement, laws of armed conflict and the respect for human rights would be tempered by these provisions.

“We would not be led by emotions, but by the rule of law,” he stated.

He said it was against this background that the military debunked all claims that “the military embarked on reprisal attacks in Okuama Community after the incident.”

He, therefore, urged those involved in peddling misinformation, disinformation and fake news that the military had embarked on reprisal attacks on the community following the incident to desist from further dishonouring the fallen heroes.

He called on the community leaders, elders and even the people of Delta State to assist investigation “to identify the perpetrators of the dastardly act so that they can be held accountable for their actions.”

He explained further that the dispute between Okuama and Okoloba communities remains unresolved, hence there could further escalation of the communal crisis.

“It therefore implies that there could be untoward activities not initiated by the military.

“Overall, there is no doubt, that this is an extremely sad development and untoward activity by members of the Okuama community against troops that were there to protect them,” he added.

The Defence Media Operations Director also urged the public to resist the temptation of allowing any video of the incident of the killed personnel from going viral.

“Their loved ones are still alive, even though they have died protecting our country and its citizens.

“It would be a dishonour to the fallen heroes to allow such ugly videos of their demise go viral. Above all, as the military mourns, it remains ever determined to ensure safety and security of citizens across the country,” Major General Buba stated.

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