Bombing Of IDP Camp A Mistake–Military

By Ikenga Chronicles January 18, 2017

Military sources have on Tuesday night explained how the Nigerian Air Force mistakenly bombed an IDP camp in Borno. This came as the nation was about coming to terms with the suicide bomb attack at the University of Maiduguri, leading to the death of a professor and many others.

Sources said the air strike was carried out on one of the  IDP camps in Rann, the headquarters of Kala Balge council, in which civilians were killed, while two soldiers, staff of International Committee of Red Cross(ICRC) and Médecins Sans Frontières(Doctors without Borders) were critically wounded.

A close government source said “more than 100 innocent civilians were killed in the incident. The Nigerian Air Force was said to be carrying out mop-up operations against the insurgents in the North-East when the incident happened.’’

Confirming the incident at a news conference held at the Theatre Command Headquarters of Operation Lafiya Dole on Tuesday, Major-General Lucky Irabor said upon receiving an intelligence report that some Boko Haram elements were regrouping in Kala Balge Local Government Area of Borno State, he quickly ordered men of the Air Force to address the problem.

“This morning (yesterday), we received reports about gathering of Boko Haram terrorists somewhere in Kala Balge Local Government area of Borno State. We got a coordinate and I directed that the Air Force should go to address the problem.”

“Unfortunately, the strike was conducted but it turned out that the locals somewhere in Rann were affected.”

Military spokesperson, Brigadier-General Rabe Abubakar confirmed the incident but explained that it was an error that the military deeply regrets. He explained that soldiers got information of movement of Boko Haram members and deployed ground troops and air cover to tackle the terrorists. It was the air support that mistakenly dropped the bomb, he said.

The Nigerian Air Force, in a statement by its Director of Public Relations and Information, Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa, expressed sadness over the incident. Famuyiwa in a statement, said: “NAF is saddened by today’s (yesterday) accidental air strike by its fighter jet at Rann in Kala Balge area of Borno State in which some innocent lives were lost.”

“While available information is sketchy, the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole is taking appropriate steps to avail us with details of the incident. The loss occasioned by this unfortunate incident is deeply regretted.

“NAF commiserates with those affected and their families and would update the public as soon as detailed facts emerge from the investigation.”

In swift response, President Muhammadu Buhari in a statement had also commiserated with the victims of the incident.

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