Last week's accidental bombing of an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Rann, Borno State left 236 dead, according to the Kala-Balge Local Government Area chairman.
Chairman Babagana Malarima disclosed this on Friday when Chief of Army Staff Tukur Buratai visited the site of the bombing, Premium Times reports. According to Mr. Malarima, 234 people were killed in the Nigeria Air Force's accidental bombing while two others injured in the bombing later died in a Maiduguri hospital.
The Nigerian military explained that its jet intended to bomb Boko Haram insurgents located north of Borno State but accidentally discharged the bomb on an IDP camp in Kala-Balge, Rann, Borno State, killing IDPs and humanitarian aid workers.
The death toll provided by Mr. Malarima is the first given by a government official, according to Premium Times, and offers some clarification on the true number of victims.
While SaharaReporters initially reported that over 200 persons were killed in the accident, different sources gave varied figures. On the day of the attack, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said 52 people died while 120 were injured. The group later said the death toll could be as a high as 174.
"We buried 234 corpses in Rann after the bombs were dropped on the IDP camp," Mr. Malarima said. "We have two other injured persons that died while in the hospital in Maiduguri."
He explained that the wounded had to be flown to the Maiduguri hospital by helicopter due to the poor and insecure state of the roads linking Kala-Balge and Maiduguri.
Mr. Malarima added that survivors of the bombing, as well as families of the deceased, are asking for compensation from the Nigerian government. While the compensation terms are not yet known, Premium Times estimates that it could be around N40 million per person, which would amount to a N9.5 billion payout by the federal government.
While President Muhammadu Buhari condoled the victims' families on behalf of the federal government, he has yet to announce any plans to compensate them.