An unspecified number of civilians were killed and dozens of others were wounded when the Nigerian military accidentally bombed civilians who had gathered for a religious celebration in northwestern Kaduna state using drones meant to target rebels, a top official said.
Samuel Aruwa, Kaduna State Overseeing Commissioner of the State Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, said on Monday that the army was on a mission against terrorists when it mistakenly struck some homes in the village of Tudun Biri on Sunday night.
“The Nigerian Army was on a routine mission against terrorists but inadvertently affected members of the community,” Aruwa disclosed in a statement.
He said the army commander in the state explained how the mistaken attack occurred. He described it as “unintended and unfortunate.”
Both the government and the army are yet to disclose the actual number of civilians killed in the incident.
Aruwa, however, said that search and rescue efforts are taking place.
“Dozens of injured victims have been evacuated to Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital by the (state) government,” he said.
This marks the military’s second assault on civilians.
On Jan. 17, 2017, a Nigerian Air Force jet mistakenly bombed a camp for displaced victims of terrorism in a remote community along the country’s border with Cameroon.