Nigeria: Military Jet Mistakenly Bombs Refugees, Aid Workers

A Nigerian Air Force fighter jet on a mission against Boko Haram extremists has mistakenly bombed refugees and aid workers, Tuesday, killing and wounding an unknown number of people, the commander for counterinsurgency operations in the country’s Northeast has said.

The accidental bombardment in Northeastern run, near the border with Cameroon, killed “some” civilians and wounded aid workers, including Nigerians working for Doctors Without Borders, and the International Committee of the Red Cross, Major-General Lucky Irabor told reporters. Two soldiers also were wounded, he said, but did not have a final toll.

Irabor said he ordered the mission, based on information that Boko Haram insurgents were gathering, along with geographic coordinates. It was too early to say if a tactical error was made, he said.

The general, who is the outer commander for counterinsurgency operations in Northeast Nigeria, said the Air Force would not deliberately target civilians, but there will be an investigation.

This is believed to be the first time Nigeria’s military has admitted to making such a mistake. Villagers in the past have reported some civilian casualties in near-daily bombardments in Northeastern Nigeria.

 

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