Nigerian Army Drone Strike Kills, Wounds Civiliansnewsbhunt

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Last Updated: December 04, 2023, 23:34 IST

The army did not give an exact toll for the strike. (Representational Image: Reuters)

The army did not give an exact toll for the strike. (Representational Image: Reuters)

Nigeria’s armed forces often use air strikes in their battle against so-called bandit militias in the northwest and the northeast where jihadists are waging a 14-year-old conflict

An army drone accidentally hit a village in northwestern Nigeria, killing and wounding civilians celebrating a Muslim festival, the local state governor, the military and a resident said Monday.

Nigeria’s armed forces often use air strikes in their battle against so-called bandit militias in the northwest and the northeast where jihadists are waging a 14-year-old conflict.

The army did not give an exact toll for the strike in  Kaduna State, but one villager said 30 people were killed late Sunday.

“Muslim faithful observing Maulud celebration were mistakenly killed and many others injured following a military drone attack targeting terrorists and bandits,” said Kaduna State governor Uba Sani.

Many of the victims were women and children, resident Hassan Ma’aruf told AFP by telephone,  sharing images he said showed the bodies.

AFP could not immediately confirm the authenticity of the images.

Dozens of wounded were taken to a teaching hospital in Kaduna, the local state security commissioner Samuel Aruwan said, following a closed-door meeting with army officials and community leaders.

He said the attack left “several citizens dead and others injured” but did not provide a proper toll.

He said according to the army it was a routine mission against militants that “inadvertently affected members of the community”.

“The Maulud celebration was taking place in the village last night when the gathering was bombed at around 9:00 pm,” resident Ma’aruf said.

“No one expected this tragedy. We have so far identified 30 dead victims, mostly women and children.”

Militia gangs, known locally as bandits, have long terrorised parts of northwest Nigeria, raiding villages to loot and kidnap residents for ransom payments.

They operate out of bases deep in forests that straddle the northwestern states.

Jihadists are also still fighting a war in the northeast though they have been pushed back from the territory they held at the height of the conflict.

More than 40,000 people have been killed, and two million displaced since 2009.

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