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Nigeria: Over 85 killed as army drone 'accidentally' struck during Muslim festival congregation

Nigeria drone attack: It said that the armed forces had aimed the target at militant groups but the drone struck the Tudun Biri village while the villagers were busy celebrating a local festival. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, ordered an investigation after the army acknowledged the mistake.

Ajeet Kumar Written By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Abuja Updated on: December 05, 2023 16:15 IST
Nigeria drone attack
Image Source : AP/FILE Representational Image

Nigeria drone attack: In a tragic and shocking incident, the Nigerian army drone strike accidentally killed at least 85 civilians on Sunday when over 100 people including women and children were enjoying a Muslim festival. According to the statement released by the army, one of the country’s deadliest military bombing mishaps happened in a village in northwest Kaduna State.

It said that the armed forces had aimed the target at militant groups but the drone struck the Tudun Biri village while the villagers were busy celebrating a local festival. Meanwhile, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, ordered an investigation on Tuesday after the army acknowledged one of its drones struck the civilian area. “President Tinubu describes the incident as very unfortunate, disturbing, and painful, expressing indignation and grief over the tragic loss of Nigerian lives,” the presidency said in a statement.

"The Northwest Zonal Office has received details from the local authorities that 85 dead bodies have so far been buried while a search is still ongoing," the National Emergency Management Agency said in a statement. Although the army official did not provide any details about the death toll. However, the emergency official said at least 66 people are still getting treatment in multiple hospitals.

Mistake drone attacks are common in Nigeria 

It is worth mentioning the Nigerian army carries out airstrikes targetting militia groups but sometimes it misses the aim, resulting in the killing of innocent civilians. This time, it acknowledged that its drone was a routine mission that “inadvertently affected members of the community”.

According to multiple media reports, over 100 people were killed when a fighter jet struck a camp lodging 40,000 people displaced by jihadist violence in Rann near the border with Cameroon in 2017.

In 2021, over 20 fishermen were killed and several injured in a September 2021 attack in Kwatar Daban Masara on Lake Chad in the northeast. Later, the military accepted their mistake and said they mistook them for militants.

Local media reported that villagers fled the area, fearing more drone attacks. Activists have said that similar incidents were not investigated in the past, leaving victims and survivors without adequate compensation or justice.

Also Read: Nigeria mayhem: Boat with over 100 passengers capsizes in Benue River, 17 killed and over 73 still missing

 

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