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Air Force bombs, kills over 50 IDPs, Buhari regrets incident



Buhari regrets as Air Force bombs, kills over 50 IDPs

President Muhammadu Buhari has regretted the accidental bombing of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) in Rann community, Borno State, by the Nigerian Air Force.

The Air Force is engaged in the final phase of mopping up Boko Haram terrorists in the North-east.

The President in a statement through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina said he received the news with deep sadness and regret.

Dozens of people were killed on Tuesday when an air force jet accidentally bombarded a camp in northeast Nigeria for those made homeless by Boko Haram Islamists.

The incident is said to have happened at an IDPs camp in Rann at about 9:00am while aid workers in the camp were distributing food. Over 50 persons were reportedly killed.

Giving account of what happened, the Army said in a statement that a fighter jet misfired and shot some humanitarian aid workers of the International Committee of Red Cross and the Medicines Sans Frontiers, and some civilians in Kala Balge in Borno during an operation.

The Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj.-Gen. Lucky Irabor, who stated this explained that they had “received a report about the gathering of Boko Haram terrorists around Kala Balge area of Maiduguri.”

Read also: Why my people bombed UNIMAID mosques –Shekau

Based on that report, Irabor said he coordinated and 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,” he said.

He added, “so far, it is a little bit disturbing; death has occurred.

Meanwhile, Doctors Without Borders on Tuesday condemned the incident saying it killed 52.

MSF director of operations Jean-Clement Cabrol in a statement said, “This large-scale attack on vulnerable people who have already fled from extreme violence is shocking and unacceptable.”

On his part, Mausi Segun, senior Nigeria researcher at Human Rights Watch said: “The Nigerian government should provide prompt, adequate, and effective compensation to the victims and their families of the January 17 bombing of the displaced persons camp in Rann, Borno State.

“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. Victims should not be denied redress merely because the government decided the bombing was accidental.”


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