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Mistaken airstrikes in Nigeria leave trail of deaths


Mistaken airstrikes in Nigeria leave trail of deaths

Abuja, Feb 7 (Prensa Latina) More than 300 civilians died in Nigeria from 2017 to date as a result of accidental airstrikes that occurred while government troops were pursuing terrorist groups, an official agency disclosed.

Research consultancy SBM Intelligence lamented through a statement that in the last two years cases of such ‘mistakes’ increased, ‘but sadly with limited acknowledgement from the Air Force’.

The agency said that this has led to a lack of thorough investigation of the cases recorded and a failure to pay compensation to the families of the victims.

The source also said that among the states most affected by erroneous air force attacks were Yobe, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and Niger.

It cited as the most notorious of such incidents the one that occurred on January 17, 2017 against a camp of displaced persons in the town of Rann, in the northern state of Borno, in which 52 civilians were massacred by military aircraft, while 120 others were wounded.

It also reported that in April last year, a fighter-bomber killed six children when it dropped an explosive device allegedly targeting terrorist elements in the Shiroro district of Niger state.

To avoid further civilian deaths by mistake SBM Intelligence called on the Nigerian authorities to properly train the pilots of warplanes to be able to identify the targets they will ram, among other measures.

At the site, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Oladayo Amao admitted that the high number of civilian casualties during aircraft attacks in uniformed theaters of operations is a matter of concern.

He also noted that a committee has already been set up to investigate such incidents and the circumstances under which the assaults occurred, in which community members were killed.

In the midst of an upsurge of violence in Nigeria, for several months the Army has been carrying out coordinated actions against radical groups, among them Boko Haram, and bandits in the northern states of Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara, and in other areas.


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