– Borno Refugee Camp Bombing
A number of Christians fleeing extremist Islamic sect were victims when a Nigerian Air Force fighter jet mistakenly launched an airstrike against a refugee camp in northeast Rann, the headquarters of Kala Balge local government area of Borno State where they have sought refuge. The aircraft was supposed to target Boko Haram militants when the camp was accidentally hit.
Nigerian military authorities have confirmed the bombing. According to military commander Major General Lucky Irabor, the mistaken airstrike wounded Nigerians connected with Doctors Without Borders and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
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. However, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (ICRC) pegged the fatalities at 76 and the number of injured at more than 100. Also, six of their Nigeria Red Cross staff were also killed and 13 were wounded, says Reuters.
Information Minister Lai Mohammed said the mistaken airstrike does not reflect the Nigerian Air Force’s true “level of professionalism.”
General Irabor 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 but pledged that the military would investigate the cause of the tragedy.
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