Nigerian air force killed at least 52 people and injured 120 people in an air strike on a refugee camp in the northeast of the country Tuesday.
A spokesman for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) That the army revealed that the strike was intended for the militants of Boko Haram.
MSF said the strike took place in Rann, Borno State, the epicenter of the seven-year appeal of the jihadist group to create an Islamic caliphate. Nigerian General Lucky Irabor, a regional military commander, located the incident in Kala Balge, an adistrict that includes Rann.
Irabor, who said it was too early to determine the cause of the incident, told reporters that an unknown number of civilians had been killed, adding that relief workers from MSF and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were among the wounded.
“At least 52 people were killed and 120 wounded,” said TimShenk, a spokesman for MSF medical charity. “The medical and surgical teams of the organization in the region are preparing to treat evacuated patients,” he added.
An ICRC spokesman said six members of the Nigerian Red Cross had been killed and 13 wounded.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said the deaths “underscore the importance of protecting civilians in complex humanitarian situations”.
The Boko Haram insurgency has killed more than 15,000 people since 2010 and forced some two million people to flee their homes, many of whom have moved to internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps.
“The president promises federal assistance to the state government to deal with this regrettable operational error,” Femi Adesina, spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari, said in a statement sent by email.
The air strike came in the middle of an offensive against Boko Haram by the Nigerian army in recent weeks. Buhari said lastmonth a key camp in the forestry base of the jihadist group Sambisa in the state of Borno fell.
The presidency also said that the air strike occurred during the “final phase of the insurgent kidnapping in the northeast”.
Boko Haram has intensified attacks in recent weeks as the end of the rainy season has allowed its fighters to move more easily into the bush.
A video featuring an audio recording assuming to be the leader of Boko Haram Abubakar Shekau, which was posted on social media on Monday night, said the group was behind the twin suicide bombings in a university earlier that day that Killed two and wounded 17 others.