The Army said a fighter jet had misfired and shot some humanitarian aid workers of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), the Medicines Sans Frontiers and some civilians in Kala Balge in Borno during an operation.
Maj.-Gen. Lucky Irabor, the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, disclosed this during a press briefing on Tuesday in Maiduguri.
“This morning, we received a report about the gathering of Boko Haram terrorists around Kala Balge area of Maiduguri.
“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 other civilians were somewhere around the area and they 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 later.
“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(ICRC) were also affected.
“We are sending helicopters to evacuate those that were critically wounded, including our wounded soldiers,” Irabor said.
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed deep sadness and regret over the accidental bombing of the civilian community.
According to a press statement released few minutes ago by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, President Buhari condoles with families of the dead and wishes the wounded divine succour.
He also sympathizes with the Borno State government, pledging federal help for the state government in attending to “this regrettable operational mistake”.
Mr President pleads for calm, even as he prays God to grant repose to the souls of the dead.