A Nigerian Air Force fighter jet on a mission against Boko Haram extremists mistakenly bombed a refugee camp Tuesday, killing more than 100 refugees and wounding aid workers, a Borno state official said.
A Red Cross worker said 20 volunteers with the aid group had been killed.
The state government official, who was helping to coordinate the evacuation of wounded from the remote area by helicopters, spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.
Military commander Maj. Gen. Lucky Irabor confirmed the accidental bombardment in northeast Rann, near the border with Cameroon.
This is believed to be the first time Nigeria’s military has admitted to making such a mistake. The General explained that it was an error that the military deeply regretted.
The Rann IDP camp in Kala-balge Local Government Area caters for thousands of persons displaced by Boko Haram. A source at the camp told journalists that at least a hundred people were injured and needed to be evacuated to hospitals.
At least two people are feared dead from the incident and the injured included officials of the Doctors without Borders. Military spokesperson, Rabe Abubakar, a brigadier general, confirmed the incident but explained that it was an error that the military deeply regretted.
He explained that soldiers got information of movement of Boko Haram members and deployed ground troops and air cover to tackle the terrorists.
He said it was the air support that mistakenly dropped the bomb on the camp.
The state government swifly ordered all hospitals in Maiduguri to be prepared to receive and promptly treat the injured.
Also, an International Red Cross helicopter was also deployed to the camp to evacuated the wounded to the various hospitals.