A recent military attack in Nigeria resulted in the accidental killing of at least 85 civilians who had gathered for a religious celebration. This incident is just one of many errant bombings in Nigeria’s troubled regions, with at least 14 documented cases of such bombings between February 2014 and September 2022.
The attack took place in Tudun Biri village of Kaduna state’s Igabi council area, where Muslims had gathered to observe a holiday celebrating the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The drone strike, which was targeting terrorists and bandits, mistakenly killed civilians and wounded many others.
According to the National Emergency Management Agency, 85 bodies have been buried so far, with search efforts still ongoing. Amnesty International’s Nigeria office reported that 120 people were killed in the attack, many of whom were children.
The incident has sparked outrage among citizens and raised concerns about human rights abuses by Nigerian security forces. Western allies, including the United States, have expressed concern about these allegations.
The head of the Nigerian army division in charge of operations in Kaduna stated that the drone operation was routine and inadvertently affected members of the community. Search-and-rescue efforts are ongoing, and dozens of wounded victims have been evacuated to hospitals for treatment.
The Nigerian air force denied carrying out any operations in Kaduna on Sunday night, but it is not the only entity operating combat armed drones in the region. The Nigerian army has not yet responded to requests for comment.
Local media reported that villagers fled the area, fearing more drone attacks. Activists have criticized the lack of investigation into similar incidents in the past, leaving victims and survivors without adequate compensation or justice.
Kaduna Governor Uba Sani stated that officials were sent to the village to meet with the families of victims, and an investigation is underway. He reassured the public that their protection would be prioritized in the fight against terrorists, bandits, and other criminal elements.
The incident is the latest in a series of extremist and rebel attacks that have ravaged parts of Nigeria’s northwest and central regions. The country’s forces frequently target the hideouts of armed groups with aerial bombardment but have sometimes bombed villagers.
These armed groups, known as bandits, have raided villages, attacked military assets, and kidnapped people of all ages for ransom. The situation has raised concerns about the safety and security of civilians in the region.
In conclusion, the accidental killing of civilians in drone strikes highlights the ongoing challenges faced by Nigeria in addressing the threat posed by armed groups. It also underscores the need for greater accountability and transparency in military operations to prevent such tragedies from recurring.
World, Military, News