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IDP Camp Bombing UK High Commissioner defends NAF, says air strike "not deliberate"

The Commissioner, however, admitted that the IDP Camp Bombing was a "tragic mistake" that should be avoided in the future.

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Nigerian Air Force fighter jet play

Nigerian Air Force fighter jet

(The Nation)

The British High Commissioner to Nigeria Paul Arkwright says Tuesday's bombing of a refugee camp in Borno State was not deliberate.

Arkwright dispelled insinuations that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) deliberately launched the air strike that killed over 50 people and injured 120.

He, however, admitted that "it was a tragic mistake" that shoud be avoided in the future.

The diplomat stated this in telephone interview with Nigeria Info FM, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

He said: "First of all can I express my deepest sympathy to all of those who are affected by this terrible bombing. I do think it was a tragic mistake.

"I’ve seen some suggestions that it was deliberate; I’m absolutely certain that it was not deliberate.

"What is important here is in the short term, doing the best for those who have been injured, the families of those who have been bereaved, and I know that the Federal Government and the state government and indeed international NGOs are working very hard to help the wounded to make sure they get proper medical treatment, and to take the necessary actions there. That’s in the short term.

"I think what’s also necessary is a thorough investigation by the Nigerian Air force or the Nigerian military to determine exactly what happened, because clearly it was a mistake.

"Mistakes can occur, what’s really important is that the right actions are taken to avoid such mistakes happening again. And until that investigation happens, I don’t think it’s appropriate to speculate on what happened or whether people had imagery or whether they knew that these were Boko Haram terrorists or civilians.

"Let's wait for that investigation, but as I have been doing, let's make sure that whatever the outcome of that investigation, it means that the necessary processes are followed and amended if necessary, so that something as terrible as this doesn’t happen again."

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Arkwright said the UK will continue to support Nigeria until Boko Haram is defeated.

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