An airstrike launched by the Nigerian Army with the aim to dislodge armed bandits on the border of Niger Republic has mistakenly killed seven children in the country.
The incident occured in the village of Nachade on Friday, February 18, 2022.
This was confirmed by Chaibou Aboubacar, the governor of the Maradi region, where the incident took place.
Aboubacar told AFP on Sunday that 12 children in total were affected by the strike, of which seven have died and five currently receiving treatment for injuries sustained.
“There was a mistake with the Nigerian strikes on the border that resulted in victims on our territory in the village of Nachade.”
“The victims are 12 children, seven of them dead and five wounded.”
Four children died instantly and three others succumbed “to their injuries while being transported to the hospital,” said Abubakar.
The governor said the parents of the victims were attending a ceremony at the time of the incident while the children were probably playing before they were hit by the strikes.
“The parents were attending a ceremony and the children were probably playing when the strikes…” said Aboubacar.
He is of the believe that the planes were targeting “armed bandits” in the border areas, but “missed their target” hitting Nachade instead.
The governor revealed that he visited the graves of the children on Saturday and also stopped at the bombardment scene.
Meanwhile, at the time of this report, the Nigerian Army is yet to either confirm or debunk the incident.
The violence perpetuated by heavily armed gangs in the southwestern states of Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara has spilled into several municipalities in the Maradi region of Niger Republic.