December 06, 2023

Nigeria: Military Drone Mishap Leaves Scores Dead

Nigerian military authorities are looking into an incident involving an armed drone that was accidentally launched at a public gathering in Kaduna State, killing at least 85 civilians.

On Tuesday, 5 December, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu ordered an investigation into the “disturbing and painful” mishap that had occurred two days before as villagers of Tudun Biri in the northern part of the country were celebrating the birthday of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.

Local emergency services have reported that at least 85 people – mostly women, children and the elderly – were killed, but believe that the count may rise.

Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, spokesperson for the Nigerian army, explained that military intelligence had mistaken the crowd gathering as militants, often referred to as “bandits”, and launched an airstrike to eliminate them.

Nigeria’s northern regions are home to multiple militias and jihadists who have plagued the areas for well over a decade.

A statement released from the presidency describes the incident as “very unfortunate, disturbing and painful, expressing indignation and grief over the tragic loss of Nigerian lives.”

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