The Nigerian Airforce has accidentally bombed a camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in Borno State killing at least 200 inhabitants.
Saharareporters learnt that the jet circled the camp for a while before dropping several bombs that created a tragic outcome. The accidental bombing killed occupants of a camp at Rann, the headquarters of Kala Balge local government area of Borno State.
Nigerian military authorities have confirmed the bombing, but the reason for the mishap remained unclear.
The military acknowledged that dozens of civilians were feared killed during an airstrike by military troops on a targeted Boko Haram location in the eastern part of Borno State.
Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Lucky Irabor, told newsmen in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, that the military conducted airstrikes on a location where Boko Haram insurgents were reported to have gathered. The incident occurred Tuesday morning.
"We got information that Boko Haram terrorists were gathering somewhere in Kala Balge Local Government. We coordinated our air component to strike the location but somehow, some civilians were killed," he said.
General Irabor disclosed that some civilians and two humanitarian workers from the International Committee on Red Cross (ICRC) and Medicine Sans Frontiers (MSF) were wounded in the disastrous bombing, which he described as disturbing. "Two of our soldiers were also wounded," he added.
The officer said the military had already sent a helicopter to evacuate the wounded. He declined to comment on whether the incident was a tactical error by the military. Instead, he described it He said it as part of the cost of war, urging the people to work together to ensure that peace returns to the troubled northeast states. He pledged that the military would investigate the cause of the tragedy.
"It is too early for us to determine whether it was an error or not. We have at no time targeted the civilians whenever we carried out our operations and wherever they are gathered," the officer said.
General Irabor stated that the military was yet to ascertain the number of people killed in the airstrike, adding that the death of innocent people in military operations was disturbing.