Pictures, video of mass burial not connected to our operations ― DHQ

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) on Sunday dismissed trending gory pictures and videos of a mass burial of persons purportedly to have been killed in the ongoing military operations in the North-west and North-central geographical zones of the country.

In a statement made available by the Director of Defence Information (DDI), Maj.-Gen Benjamin Sawyer, the military described the claim as false and urged the members of the public to disregard it in its entirety.

The statement reads in part: “The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), have been notified of a trending picture with caption ‘Alhamdulillah. ZamfaraMustSecure’ and several other viral gory pictures and videos of dumping into 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 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 a successful military operations against bandits and kidnappers in line with it’s 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.”