20 November 2012

Nigeria: Executions Video Was Staged, JTF Says

The Nigerian Defence Headquarters (DHQ) on Wednesday demanded an unreserved apology from Reuters International over the video clip it circulating ... ( Resource: Military Demands Apology from News Agency )

Maiduguri — The Joint task Force (JTF) in Borno State last night said the video clip which showed soldiers executing civilians on the street in Maiduguri two weeks ago was stage- managed.

The JTF said the pictures used in the latest revelation were the same pictures used in 2009 to tarnish the image of soldiers that operated in the middle belt and called on the media not to be "a cheap tool in the hands of terrorists."

A statement signed by Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa said the JTF has made clear that there was no established case of extra judicial killings, arrest or detention by the JTF in Maiduguri.

"This film is stage managed and the allegation is baseless, terrorist oriented, spurious and bunkum. I watched the film released, printed and scrutinized the 3 pictures used as the basis for the allegations and discovered that picture 1 was used as the cover page of the Amnesty International report that was released on 8 November, 2012.

"The Task Force is worried that the same picture is again being used by Reuters News Agency that reported the picture was captured 2 weeks ago. Additionally, the bodies deposited in the pictures cannot be substantiated to be Boko Haram or those of innocent civilians.

"Picture 2 had earlier been used to maliciously tarnish the image of a Task Force which operated in the middle belt sometimes in 2009. It is curious to notice that the same picture is still being used in November 2012 against the JTF.

"Picture 3 is about the vehicle allegedly used by JTF to carry corpses. A look at the vehicle in the film revealed that the JTF has no such vehicle in its inventory.

"The media should note that it faces a complicated task to strike the right balance between their duty to inform the public and the danger of becoming tools in the hands of terrorists."

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