Survivors of Sunday night bombing of Tudun Biri in Igabi local government area of Kaduna State have continued to lament how they lost their loved ones as a result of the bomb dropped by the Army during a Maulud celebration by the villagers.
Some of them told LEADERSHIP Weekend in tears that the trauma the incident has caused them is unimaginable, saying they have become widows, widowers and orphans all of a sudden.
A particular woman who could not even remember her name but later confirmed by her neighbour to be known as Hajia Hajaratu lost all her five children in the incident while some others lost their spouses, children and relatives.
A resident, Umar Yunusa, said his wife and two children were killed by the bomb and now he is left to carter alone for his last daughter.
“When we heard the sound of the bomb, we thought it was the sound of a loudspeaker when the first bomb dropped. Everywhere we turned, the ground was littered with flesh.
“I no longer have a wife and I lost two children. I also lost three of my siblings. There is no family that has not lost someone. We also lost visitors,” he said weeping.
According to him, a certain Bara’atu Abdullahi came to visit her mother and decided to join the Maulud adding that although she survived the bomb, she sustained injuries, but others around her were not so fortunate.
Another resident, Jemila Ahmed said two of her children died while she sustained injuries for which she was receiving treatment. She maintained that the situation is still like a dream to her.
“I was standing when I heard a loud sound. I fell and became unconscious because my two legs were badly affected and my two children, Mohammed (7-year-old) and Abubakar (5-year-old) were killed by the bomb who could only be identified through their clothes as the bombs dismembered them beyond recognition. I only identified them through their clothes,” she said in tears.
“Some were dismembered; hands and legs were cut off; some had burst stomachs,” she added.
She disclosed that one of her children was lucky but also sustained injury and they were both receiving treatments at the Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital where most of the survivors were rushed to.
A 60-year-old survivor, Suleiman Umar lamented how they could be mistaken for bandits, stressing that the villagers gathered to commemorate the Maulud celebration, stressing that “we are not bandits but residents of Tudun Biri celebrating Maulud when we were attacked.”
He however said, “Bandits do come to our village but we always report strange faces to our district head. We don’t fraternise with them at all. There was a time we discovered one informant in our village. We disowned him and handed him over to the Army. We have nothing to do with bandits.
“I was eating that night when we were bombed. Many people died. We can hardly identify our children; some with burst bellies. They bombed us twice. After the first round of bombs, they came back to bomb us again.
“I ran into a deep forest where I slept till daybreak. We covered the dead with leaves. We separated the males from the females and covered them with leaves.”
For 35-year-old Zainab Alhassan, no fewer than 32 of her family members lost their lives. Some were stampeded running for their lives when they thought it was a bandit attack, adding that how she survived, even though with injuries, is still a surprise to her.
She said, “We are celebrating Maulud when the air strike occurred, killing many people. We never saw the jet that dropped the bomb. It was those who came from afar that saw the aircraft that dropped the bomb.
“We were only in a celebration mode. We thought those that attacked us were bandits. I do not know how I escaped. We lost 32 people in our family. There is another family that lost about 15 people to the attack too. Many people died. Even those that are rescuing people were also killed by the second bomb.
“About 82 corpses were counted and yesterday night, another victim died. There are families that don’t even know where members of their families are now. They are missing.”
The death toll from the drone air strike, which the authorities said was done in error, is at present put at over 100 with no fewer than 70 injured persons still receiving treatment.