Nigeria: Army drone strike accidentally kills 85 in public religious gathering

Investigations have been ordered after a Nigerian army drone accidentally bombed a religious procession in northern Kaduna, killing at least 85 people, including women and children.

The attack on Sunday night in Tudun Biri village of Kaduna state’s Igabi council area took place as Muslims gathered there to observe the holiday celebrating the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. Kaduna Governor Uba Sani said civilians were “mistakenly killed and many others were wounded” by a drone “targeting terrorists and bandits”.

Amnesty International’s Nigeria office said 120 people were killed in the attack, citing reports of its workers and volunteers in the area.

The attack was the latest in recent errant bombings of residents in Nigeria’s troubled regions; between February 2014, when a Nigerian military aircraft dropped a bomb on Daglun in Borno state killing 20 civilians, and September 2022, there were at least 14 documented incidences of such bombings in residential areas.

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