Nigeria Accidentally Drone Strikes Its Own Civilians, Kills 88 People

(Photo by ADELAKUN/AFP via Getty Images)

Ilan Hulkower Contributor
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Nigeria accidentally killed around 88 of its own citizens when military drones struck a Muslim religious festival.

The Nigerian army expressed its condolence and regret for the incident while noting the army had been targeting “armed bandits” in the area who had “terrorised the communities.”

“[T]he troops were carrying out aeriel patrols when they observed a group of people and wrongly analyzed and misinterpreted their pattern of activities to be similar to that of the bandits, before the drone strike,” the army tweeted.

An eyewitness to the event told BBC Hausa, “The aircraft dropped a bomb at the venue. It destroyed and killed our people including women and children.” The witness then said a second bomb dropped on those who tried to recover the bodies of the victims of the first blast, ABC News translated. The witness told the BBC he lost about 34 family members in the bombing.

“[T]he team discovered that following the two airstrikes about 88 people died while no fewer than 68 people sustaining various degrees of injuries,” Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said in a Facebook statement. (RELATED: Alleged Ukrainian Drones Strike Moscow Financial District)

NEMA further stated the governmental delegation dispatched to the scene prayed at the gravesite of those killed in the unfortunate misfire.

“It is worthy of note that the casualties ranged from children, women and the elderly,” NEMA said in another post.

Nigerian President Bola Tinubu made reference to the accident in a press release and ordered an inquiry over the mishap.