Unknown number of civilians has been accidentally killed by Nigerian Air Force in an air strike on Tuesday against Islamist militant sect known as Boko Haram in the northeast, a military official said.
The Regional military commander General Lucky Irabor said the strike took place on Tuesday morning at Kala Balge local government in Borno state.
He said “Somehow, some civilians were killed. We are yet to ascertain the number of persons killed in the air strike,” Irabor told reporters in the northeastern city of Maiduguri.
“Many civilians including personnel of International Committee of the Red Cross and Medicins Sans Frontieres were wounded,” adding that the air force had acted on information that Boko Haram militants were in the area.
According to Aljazeera, aid group Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said the strike had killed at least 50 people and wounded 120.
MSF and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were operating at the camp when it was hit.
The ICRC said via Twitter that six of the dead and 12 of the wounded were working for the Nigeria Red Cross.
A senior military source in the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, told AFP news agency the casualties were “huge”, adding: “A fighter jet hit the wrong target.”
Boko Haram has stepped up attacks in the last few weeks as the end of the rainy season has enabled its fighters to move more easily in the bush. The northeast has been the focus of the jihadist group’s seven-year-old bid to create an Islamic caliphate.