Injured people being comforted at the IDP camp after an error aerial bombing attack by NAF. MSF Photo
A Nigerian Air Force jet killed 52 people and injured 120 in an air strike on an Internally Displaced Persons, IDP camp in the northeast state of Borno on Tuesday, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said.
The Nigerian military said the strike had targeted Boko Haram.
MSF said the strike occurred T n Internally Displaced Persons camp at Rann.
Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Lucky Irabor located it at Kala Balge, a district including Rann.
Rescued victims at IDP camp in Rann, Borno state Scene of the bombing at Rann
Irabor, who said it was too early to determine the cause of the mistake, told journalists an unknown number of civilians had been killed, adding that humanitarian workers from MSF and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were injured.
“MSF teams have seen 120 wounded and 50 dead following the bombing,” said Charlotte Morris, a spokeswoman for the medical charity.
“Our medical and surgical teams in Cameroon and Chad are ready to treat wounded patients. We are in close contact with our teams, who are in shock following the event.”
MSF later reviewed the dead to 52
A spokeswoman for ICRC said six Nigerian Red Cross members were killed and 13 were wounded. The organisation said the dead were part of a team bringing desperately needed food for more than 25,000 displaced people in Rann.
The insurgency has killed more than 15,000 people and forced two million to flee their homes, many of whom have moved to camps because it has been too dangerous to return home.
The air strike came amid an offensive against Boko Haram by Nigeria’s military over the last few weeks. President Muhammadu Buhari said last month a key camp in the jihadist group’s Sambisa forest base in Borno state had fallen.
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed regret over the accident, describing it as an ‘operational mistake”.
The Nigerian Air Force in a statement on Instagram also expressed sadness over the accidental air strike.
“The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is saddened by today’s accidental air strike by its fighter jet at Rann in Kala Balge area of Borno State in which some innocent lives were lost… The loss occasioned by this unfortunate incident is deeply regretted. The NAF commiserates with those affected and their families and would update the public as soon as detailed facts emerge from the investigation”, it stated.