■ AT least 20 civilians have been mistakenly killed by a Nigerian Airforce aircraft targeting Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists in the North East.
According to the AFP, the victims, who are fishermen were killed on Sunday in Kwatar Daban Masara, a coastal village along the Lake Chad Basin.
Locals said the community was about 50 kilometres from Borno capital and Boko Haram heartland Maiduguri.
AFP said the news of the incident was slow to emerge due to limited telecommunications in the area.
An unnamed intelligence source who works with anti-militant militia in the region was quoted to have said the strike was based on “credible information” of a gathering of ISWAP fighters in the village since Wednesday.
He said aerial surveillance and reports from other sources revealed militants were amassing in Kwatar Daban Masara and it was obvious they were planning an attack.
NAF State Police Spokesperson Edward Gabkwet and Director of Defence Information Benjamin Sawyerr did not respond to a text message sent to them by this reporter to solicit comments on the incident.
The ICIR had reported how 12 people were killed when a military aircraft bombed a community in Yobe State earlier this month. The incident also left many wounded.
In January 2017, at least 112 people were killed when a fighter jet struck a camp housing 40,000 people displaced by violence in Rann near the border with Cameroon.
The Nigerian military blamed “lack of appropriate marking of the area” for the bombardment in a report it issued six months later.
In July 2019 at least 13 civilians were also killed when a Nigerian fighter jet hit Gajiganna village, 50 kilometres from Borno state capital Maiduguri, as it targeted fleeing militants after they attacked a nearby base.
Author: Vincent UFUOMA ●
[Courtesy: International Centre for Investigative Reporting]