21 November 2012

Nigeria: Reuters Withdraws Soldiers Shooting Video

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 )

Reuters yesterday said it has withdrawn the soldiers shooting video story it reported on Sunday because of questions raised about the date and location of the video.

Reuters reported that it was in possession of an amateur video showing soldiers shooting unarmed captives in broad daylight by the roadside in Maiduguri.

But the agency yesterday said: "Please be advised that the Nigeria story issued on November 18, 2012, reporting that a video showed Nigerian troops shooting unarmed captives, is withdrawn.

"The story is withdrawn because questions have been raised about the date and location of the video." The video, according to the earlier report, was taken by a soldier who said he was present while the shootings took place two weeks ago. The soldier, who requested anonymity, passed it to Reuters on Sunday.

In the grainy footage, a man sits down next to three or four corpses piled together on the roadside. He pleads for his life while soldiers shout at him and a crowd looks on a few metres away. "Please don't fire," the man says in pidgin English.

"One of them kicks him in the head. Then he and another soldier aim assault rifles at him. Four gunshots are heard and the man lies still next to the others," the report said.

However, the army spokesman Colonel Mohammed Yerima quickly dismissed it as a propaganda by the Boko Haram sect. Yerima said that the events must have been staged, noting that it was "impossible" for Nigerian troops to do such a thing.

Also on Monday, the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Borno State said in another statement by Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa that the video clip was 'stage managed.'

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