Calamity stuck as fight against terror group ,Boko haram was
brought backward when jet use in the counter insurgency operation in the north
east fired at aid workers, soldiers others, killing not fewer than hundred
But the Nigerian Air Force said in
a statement on Tuesday evening that it had begun an investigation into the
accidental air strike.
Aid workers confirmed to have been
killed in the bombing included the officials of Doctors without Borders
(Medecins Sans Frontieres), International Committee of the Red Cross and some
The NAF Director of Information and
Public Relations, Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa, said, “We are saddened by
today’s accidental air strike by our fighter jet at Rann, in which innocent
lives were lost. While available information is still sketchy, the loss
occasioned by this unfortunate incident is deeply regretted.
“We commiserate with the affected
families and would update the public as soon as detailed facts emerge from the
It was learnt that the accidental
air strike happened at about 9am in Rann, in the far north of Borno State as
aid workers distributed food to Internally Displaced Persons.
A resident of the area, Abba Abiso,
told AFP on the telephone, “This morning, a military jet mistakenly bombarded Rann,
instead of (nearby) Kala.
“In recent weeks, Boko Haram has
moved base to Kala from Sambisa Forest and obviously, a military jet mistook
Rann for Kala and bombarded it, killing many civilians.
The Theatre Commander of Operation
Lafiya Dole, Maj. Gen. Lucky Irabor, who heads the military operation against
the militants, said the Nigerian Air Force had been given coordinates of Boko
Haram terrorists in the Kala-Balge area.
“This morning, we received a report
about the gathering of Boko Haram terrorists around the Kala Balge area of
Maiduguri,” he told reporters at a briefing in Maiduguri on Tuesday.
“I coordinated and I directed that
the air component of the operation should go and address the problem.
“Unfortunately, the strike was
conducted but it turned out that the locals, somewhere in Rann, were affected.
“So far, it is a little bit
disturbing; death has occurred. There are casualties; there were deaths and
injuries but on the actual number of casualties, we would get back to you
“I am yet to get the number of
casualties of civilians killed, but two soldiers were also affected.
“Some humanitarian staff of
Medicines Sans Frontiers and some staff of International Committee of Red Cross
were also affected.
“We are sending helicopters to
evacuate those that were critically wounded, including our wounded soldiers.”
Six workers of the ICRC were among
the dead, while 13 others were said to have been injured.
The Red Cross said it was “deeply
concerned” about the reported casualties among civilians and humanitarian workers
in the air strikes on Rann.
The ICRC spokesperson, Ms. Matijevic
Aleksandra, who confirmed the casualty figure of their workers, said the
injured had been moved to a medical facility in Rann.
She said, “We regret that among the
casualties of today’s air strikes in Rann, there are six Nigerian Red Cross
members killed and 13 injured.
“We have been coordinating
emergency efforts in Rann with the relevant authorities and other aid actors.”
Also, the Acting Secretary-General,
Nigerian Red Cross Headquarters, Andronicus Adeyemo, confirmed that six members
of the ICRC died in the bombing.
The Nigeria red cross, in an
interview with journalists said “Six
members of the Nigerian Red Cross have been confirmed dead, 14 wounded and nine
are in critical conditions.
Prodding further, the Red Cross said “We hope
there will be no more casualties’’. These are our (NRC) members, because there
are other humanitarian workers on the field. We cannot talk of casualties from
the IDPs, definitely, IDPs and other humanitarian workers were also affected.”
“We are in contact with the
relevant authorities to organise medical assistance and evacuations, and also
to get more information on the situation in Rann,” said the Information Officer
of the ICRC in Borno State, Sadiq Umar.
The Head of Media and Publicity of
the National Emergency Management Agency, Mr. Sani Datti, disclosed exclusively
to urban express news online that the camp in question was managed by the
Datti said, “Let me tell reveal
this to you,’’ it is very difficult to get the figures because that camp is
managed by the military. It is one of our satellite camps, but it is being
managed by the military.