(Updated) Nigeria fighter jet misfires, kill 52 in IDP bombing

Tony Chidi

At least 52 people were killed and  120 injured when a Nigerian Airforce Jet mistakenly struck an Internally Displaced Persons, IDP camp  in the northeast state of Borno on Tuesday, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said.

MSF said the strike occurred at an Internally Displaced Persons camp at  Rann.

Major General Lucky Irabor, the Theatre commander of Operation Lafiya Dole  while briefing news men said it was too early to determine the cause of the mistake but confirmed that humanitarian workers from MSF and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were injured.

According to Charlotte Morris, the spokeswoman of MSF said, “MSF teams have seen 120 wounded and 50 dead following the bombing.”

“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.”

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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.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed regret over the accident, describing it as an ‘operational mistake”..

The Nigeria Army had earlier in the day disclosed that one of its fighter jets involved in military operations in the North East misfired and shot some humanitarian aid workers of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), with casualties recorded.

According to the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj.-Gen. Lucky Irabor, on Tuesday in Maiduguri, “This morning, we received a report about the gathering of Boko Haram terrorists around Kala Balge area of Maiduguri.

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“I coordinated and I directed that the air component of the operation should go and address the problem.

“Unfortunately, the strike was conducted but it turned out that other civilians were somewhere around the area and they were affected.

“So far, it is a little bit disturbing; death has occurred. There are casualties; there were deaths and injuries.

“But on the actual number of casualties, we would get back to you later. I am yet to get the number of casualties of civilians killed, but two soldiers were also affected.”

“I am yet to get the number of casualties of civilians killed, but two soldiers were also affected.

“Some humanitarian staff of Medicines Sans Frontiers and some staff of International Committee of Red Cross were also affected.

“We are sending helicopters to evacuate those that were critically wounded, including our wounded soldiers,” Irabor said.