Sunday, January 22, 2017

Accidental airstrike in Rann was the second military error in two weeks- Int'l Center for Investigative reporting says

According to a new report by the Center for Investigative reporting, the accidental airstrike at an IDP camp in Rann, Borno state that killed over 100, was the second of such military errors in two weeks. According to the report, an erroneous gunfire by some soldiers in Borno state had killed over 30 IDPs in Gamboru Ngala in the state the previous week.
The IDPs had gone into the bush in search for firewood to cook their meals when they were gunned down by soldiers who saw them and mistook them for Boko Haram members.

"A reliable military source told the icirnigeria.org that there had been an earlier incident in another IDP camp in Gamboru Ngala, where more than 30 IDPs were also mistakenly killed by Nigerian troops. It was learnt that troops who had left their base in Marte, in Borno state on patrol and clearance mission mistakenly killed the displaced persons at a location close to the IDP camp in Gamboru Ngala where they were resident.
According to the source, the troops had left Marte for clearance and patrol operations without telling their colleagues stationed at the IDP camp in Gamboru Ngala. This particular IDP camp is in the control of Nigerian military whose soldiers provide security there due to Boko Haram activity in the area. However, soldiers at the Gamboru Ngala camp had authorised the displaced persons to go into the nearby bush to get firewood with which to prepare their meals. It was gathered that the IDPs usually get raw food from the authorities and have to cook their food themselves. Each IDP, it was learnt, was given a tally by the soldiers so that they would be easily identified when they returned to the camp. However, as they were foraging in the bush for firewood not too far from the camp, the soldiers from Marte happened upon them and, suspecting that they were Boko Haram insurgents, opened fire on the hapless IDPs, reportedly killing more than 30 of them. The IDPs were said to comprise men, women and children and they had gone looking for firewood not only to cook but also to sell in the IDP camp.

Upon hearing gunshots, the soldiers at the IDP camp in Gamboru Ngala are said to have traced the source and discovered that their colleagues had killed the IDPs. It was gathered that two of the IDPs survived the attack and recounted what happened. The two, who sustained gunshot injuries, said that they pretended to be dead and only stood up when the soldiers from Gamboru Ngala arrived at the scene of the incident. The soldiers were angry at their colleagues and questioned how the incident could have occurred as it was still daylight when the troops should have seen clearly that the people in the bush were not insurgents". Read the full report here

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