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Military refutes genocide claim

23 May 2014, 08:33

Lagos - The military has denied allegations of killing scores of innocent boys suspected to be Boko Haram members in a remote village in Borno State.

A notable muslim cleric, Ahmad Gumi,  had recently posted on his social media page, images of over 50 young boys who were allegedly rounded up by undisclosed military officers and shot dead on the spot.

The post also showed a mass grave where the boys were allegedly later buried.

The Muslim cleric claimed that the boys were killed by Nigeria soldiers in an act of genocide.

Reacting to the clerics allegation, the Director of Defence Information, Maj.-Gen Chris Olukolade, said the military was never involved in any genocide in any part of the country.

Olukolade said the image were mere attempts by some disgruntled individuals to discredit the military.

"While the military will continue to respect freedom of expression of Nigerians, it will not submit to desperate blackmail and propaganda aimed at diverting attention and pitching public opinion against the armed forces.

"Although the real motive of the presentation with the apparent intention to impute military complicity in the event depicted in the pictures is yet to unfold, the DHQ sees this allegation as the manifestation of yet another grand design to tarnish and denigrate the image of Nigerian Armed Forces."

He said the Nigerian military remained a professional force whose operations were guided by high standard of professional ethics and will not be party to such dastardly act.

"At no time or event in the course of the counter-insurgency operation have the troops embarked on the extra-judicial killing of civilians as exhibited in the gory pictures."

- CAJ News

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