A “mistaken” drone attack in Nigeria on Sunday resulted in the death of at least 85 people, as well as at least 66 injuries.
According to Fox News, emergency response officials confirmed the tragic consequences of the “mistaken” drone attack on a Muslim holiday gathering in northwest Nigeria. Both government and security officials noted that the drones were “targeting terrorists and bandits” in Kaduna state’s Tudun Biri village.
“Eighty-five dead bodies have so far been buried while a search is still ongoing,” Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said in a statement obtained by Fox News. The statement added that children, elderly individuals, and women were killed in the drone attack.
According to Fox News, Nigerian President Bola Tinubu ordered “a thorough and full-fledged investigation” be made into Sunday’s tragic drone incident.
Kaduna Security Commissioner Samuel Aruwan noted that search-and-rescue efforts remained ongoing and that dozens of injured victims had been transported to the hospital.
Fox News reported that Nigeria residents are often caught in the conflict between the country’s military and rebel organizations that have caused instability in the nation’s northern region for over a decade.
Former Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who is the leading opposition presidential candidate in the country’s current election cycle, expressed his condolences for those impacted in the drone incident and warned of a “worrisome” pattern of “miscalculated air strikes” in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
“I am grieved by the news of the drone airstrike that killed dozens of people and left scores of others with various degrees of injury in the Tudun Biri community in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State,” Abubakar stated. “The incidence of miscalculated air strikes is assuming a worrisome dimension in the country. We need to develop counterinsurgency strategies that will insulate the civilian population from tragic incidents of this nature. I call on the authorities to launch a thorough investigation into this tragedy to avert future occurrences.”
According to Fox News, Nigerian officials explained that its military regularly carries out air raid operations against rebel groups that are often located in regions with large civilian populations.
“Terrorists often deliberately embed themselves within civilian population centers,” Maj. Gen. Edward Buba, a Nigeria Defense headquarters spokesman, said.
The leader of the Nigerian army division responsible for operations in Kaduna explained that Sunday’s drone operation was a “routine mission.”
“The Nigerian army was on a routine mission against terrorists but inadvertently (its actions) affected members of the community,” Maj. Gen. Valentine Okoro said, according to the Kaduna State Ministry of Internal Security.