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10 times Nigerian Security Forces have mistakenly bombed civilians

This list is a compilation of all the reported incidents of the Nigerian Air Force and the Nigerian Army dropping bombs on civilians by mistake.

The Nigerian Air Force officers descend from one of the Nigerian fighter jets. [Punch]

In their efforts to secure the country, the Nigerian Security Forces have repeatedly discharged bombs on civilians on the ground, injuring and killing the citizens they seek to protect.

There are several undocumented accidental bombings or killings of non-combatant civilians by Nigerian forces, but this piece compiles the reported ones.

Here are 10 times the Nigerian Air Force and the Nigerian Army have ‘accidentally’ bombed civilians.

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  • Sambisa, 2014

The effort of the security agents to rescue Chibok girls from their terrorist captors in 2014 reportedly led to the killing of some of the victims.

Some of the freed girls kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgents disclosed that at least three of their classmates were killed by Air Force bombardments.

  • Rann, 2017

In January 2017, a Nigerian Air Force fighter jet on a mission against Boko Haram extremists mistakenly bombed an internally displaced persons camp in Rann, Borno State. Over 100 civilians died as a result of the shelling.

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  • Tangaram, 2019

In April 2019, during an offensive against bandits terrorising Zamfara State, a military air raid accidentally bombed Tangaram village. The military strike injured 17 civilians and left six children dead.

  • Sakotoku, 2020

At least 17 people, including women and children, were killed when a fighter jet belonging to the Nigerian Air Force accidentally opened bombs on Sakotoku village in the Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State in 2020.

The children were said to be playing under mango trees when the bombs hit them.

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  • Mainok, 2021 

While targeting Boko Haram insurgents in April 2021, the Nigerian Air Force fighter jet killed some soldiers in Mainok, Borno State.

  • Genu, 2021

On June 13, 2021, a fighter jet belonging to the Nigerian Airforce bombarded Genu town in Niger State. Among the dead were wedding guests in Argida village and hordes of civilians.

  • Buhari, 2021
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Over a dozen residents of Buhari village in Yunusari Local Government Area of Yobe State were killed in September 2021, when a NAF fighter jet bombarded the village.

  • Kwatar Daban Masara, 2021

Barely two weeks after the accidental bombing of civilians in Yobe State, a Nigerian military aircraft targeting terrorist camps in Kwatar Daban Masara in the Lake Chad area killed at least 20 fishermen.

  • Niger, 2022

In February 2022, an airstrike by the Nigerian Air Force targeting bandits accidentally killed seven children and wounded five in Niger State.

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  • Tudun Biri, 2023

The shelling of Tudun Biri village is the latest of the series of accidental bombings of civilians by the security forces.

On Monday, December 4, 2023, the Nigerian Army took responsibility for the air strike that claimed the lives of over 80 residents of the village in Kaduna State.

The villagers were celebrating the birth of Prophet Muhammad on Sunday, December 3, 2023, when the army dropped a bomb on them.

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