Nigeria: Toll from bungled military airstrike rises


Jan. 18 (UPI) — The death toll from botched military airstrike in Nigeria has risen by more than a dozen people, officials said Wednesday.

The bombing was carried out Tuesday morning on a refugee camp in Borno state, in the country’s northeast. The attack, based on flawed intelligence that Boko Haram militants were at the camp, killed dozens and wounded more than 100 others.

Wednesday, the toll climbed to at least 70 dead, according to groups close to the bombing. Some news outlets reported the toll at 76. Not long after the strike, near the town of Rann, international aid group Doctors Without Borders said 120 were injured.

Several of the dead include members of the group, which is also known as Médecins Sans Frontières.

“We are saddened and angered following the Rann tragedy in Borno,” MSF said in a tweet Wednesday.

“We participated in [an] evacuation by helicopter to Maiduguri of 55 wounded in need of life-saving care, [including] 10 in critical condition,” MSF Executive Director Jason Cone tweeted.

Tuesday’s strike is at least the seventh to target a location with MSF personnel in the last 15 months. Six MSF members were killed in a strike in Syria last April, and 14 died in Afghanistan in October 2015 when a hospital in Kunduz was mistakenly bombed by U.S. fighters.

MSF’s director of operations called the errant bombing “shocking and unacceptable.”

Two military soldiers, civilians and members of the aid group International Committee of the Red Cross were also killed and wounded in the attack.

“This has been a truly catastrophic event. Lives have been lost, and this in a designated site for the displaced,” U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said. “A full accounting has to take place so that the causes are known and measures can be put in place to ensure this never happens again.”

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