More than 50 people were killed when a Nigerian military jet mistakenly bombed a camp for homeless people Tuesday.
Aiming for Boko Haram militants, the attack struck Rann – a refugee camp for people internally displaced by the terrorist group, a military official said.
“I received with regret news that the Air Force,working to mop up BH insurgents, accidentally bombed a civilian community in Rann, Borno State,” Nigerian president Muhammudu Buhari wrote on his official Twitter account Tuesday, promising support for the victims.
Aid group Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said that its members were treating 120 wounded patients in their facility in the Northern Borno state. MSF put the death toll at 52 in a statement released in the hours after the attack.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said six of its Nigerian members were among the dead.
Major General Lucky Irabor, who heads the military operation against Boko Haram militants in the area, said the air force was given coordinates of terrorists.
“Unfortunately the strike was conducted but it turned out that the locals somewhere in Rann were affected,” he told reporters at a briefing in the state capital.
Human Rights Watch issued a statement Wednesday calling on Nigeria to compensate the families of the victims.
“Even if there is no evidence of a willful attack on the camp, which would be a war crime, the camp was bombed indiscriminately, violating international humanitarian law,” said Mausi Segun, a senior Nigeria researcher at HRW.
The bombing comes as the Nigerian military claims more and more territory in Borno – Boko Haram’s stronghold. Last month the army said the conflict was in its final stages after 8 years of violence which has left at least 20,000 dead and over 2 million homeless.
Source: Voice of America