Nigeria army drone strike accident kills 85 civilians

Tuesday December 05 2023

Nigerian soldiers patrol in the town of Banki in Northeastern Nigeria on April 26, 2017. PHOTO | AFP


A Nigerian army drone strike accidently killed at least 85 civilians on Sunday in a village in northwest Kaduna State, emergency officials said, in one of the country's deadliest military bombing accidents.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Tuesday ordered an investigation after the army acknowledged one of its drones accidently struck Tudun Biri village as residents were celebrating a Muslim festival.

The army did not give any casualty figures, but local residents had said 85 people, many of them women and children, had been killed.

Read: Nigeria air strike kills 27 civilians

"The Northwest Zonal Office has received details from the local authorities that 85 dead bodies have so far been buried while search is still ongoing," National Emergency Management Agency (Nema) said in a statement.

Nema said another 66 people were being treated at hospital, but emergency officials were still negotiating with community leaders to calm tensions to be able reach the village.


"President Tinubu describes the incident as very unfortunate, disturbing, and painful, expressing indignation and grief over the tragic loss of Nigerian lives," the presidency said in a statement.

Nigeria's armed forces often rely on air strikes in their battle against so-called bandit militias in the northwest and northeast of the country, where militias have been fighting for more than a decade.