No fewer than seven children have been reportedly killed by the Nigerian military in airstrikes targeting bandits in Nachade, Niger Republic.
Maradi Region Governor Chaibou Aboubacar, who confirmed the incident, said five other children were badly injured in the incident with happened on Friday.
“There was a mistake with the Nigerian strikes on the border that resulted in victims on our territory in the village of Nachade.
“The victims are 12 children, seven of them dead and five wounded,” Aboubacar was quoted to have said. Aboubacar did not explain how he knew the attack was by the Nigerian forces.
The Nigerian Air force Spokesperson Edward Gabkwet did not confirm or deny the report when contacted for comments on Sunday.
However, Major General Jimmy Akpor, Nigeria’s Director of Defence Information, told the press that “As a matter of policy, the Nigerian Air Force does not make any incursions into areas outside Nigeria’s territorial boundaries. That’s our policy,”
He also noted an investigation was underway, Reuters reports.
In Yobe state last year, 12 people were killed when a military aircraft bombed a community. The incident also left many wounded.
In the same month, at least 20 civilians were mistakenly killed by a Nigerian Air Force aircraft targeting Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists in the North-East.
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 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.