Dozens of civilians have been feared killed during an airstrike on Tuesday by military troops on targeted Boko Haram location in the eastern part of the state.
Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj. Gen Lucky Irabor while confirming the incident told newsmen in Maiduguri that the military conducted airstrike on a location where Boko Haram were reported to have gathered in the morning.
“We got information that Boko Haram terrorists were gathering somewhere in Kala Balge Local Government. We coordinated our air component and struck at the location but somehow, some civilians were killed,” he said.
Gen Irabor disclosed that some civilians and two humanitarian workers from the International Committee on Red Cross (ICRC) and Medicine Sans Frontiers (MSF) were wounded in the incident which he described as disturbing.
“Two of our soldiers were also wounded,” he added.
He said the military has already sent helicopter to evacuate the wounded persons.
He could not comment on whether or not the incident was a tactical error by the military.
Irabor said it was rather the cost of war, urging the people to work together to ensure peace return to the troubled northeast States.
He said the military will investigate the cause of the problem.
“It is too early for us to determine whether it was an error or not. We have at no time targeted the civilians whenever we carried out our operations and wherever they are gathered,” he maintained.
He said the military was yet to ascertain the number of persons killed in the airstrike, adding that the death of innocent person in the course of operation was rather disturbing to the military authority and the institution.
In the meantime, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has expressed sadness over the accidental air strike by its fighter jet at Rann in Kala Balge area of Borno State in which some innocent lives were lost.
A statement by Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa, Director of Public Relations said, “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.
“The NAF commiserates with those affected and their families and would update the public as soon as detailed facts emerge from the investigation.
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