Nigeria Air Strike Mistakenly Kills 7 Children In Niger

Nigeria air strike
In the Maradi region of southern Niger, a Nigeria air strike targeting ‘bandits’ has reportedly left seven children dead and five others wounded “by accident,” according to a local governor.

On Friday, Chaibou Aboubacar, governor of the Maradi region near Nigeria, claimed, “There was a mistake with Nigeria air strike on the border that resulted in victims on our territory in the village of Nachade.”

“There are 12 children among the casualties, seven of them are deceased and five of whom are injured.”

Nigeria air strike
Nigerian military helicopters. (Photo for descriptive purpose only).

“He added four children died on the spot and three others died from their injuries while being transferred to hospital” .

“The parents were attending a ceremony, and the children were probably playing when the Nigeria air strike hit them,” according to the governor.

He believes the Nigeria air strike were attempting to target “armed bandits” along the border, but “missed their target” and hitting Nachade instead.

On Saturday, Aboubacar said he paid a visit to the children’s graves as well as the bombing site.

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Several municipalities in the Maradi region have been severely impacted by the brutality of heavily armed gangs from the Nigerian states of Katsina, Sokoto, and Zamfara, which shares borders with the Maradi region.

In 2018, Niamey beefed up military patrols along its Nigerian border to deter these gangs from carrying out assassinations, kidnappings for ransom, attacks on traders, and cattle raids before leading the cattle into Nigeria.

In April 2021, the International Crisis Group (ICG) expressed concern that a third jihadist center could be set up in Maradi, using the operations of Nigerian gangs and conflicts between local communities.

Niger is already fighting jihadists on two fronts. In the south-east, the Nigerian group Boko Haram and its dissident offshoot, the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWAP), are active, while in the west, groups associated with the Islamic State (IS) and Al-Qaeda are active.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Maradi is home to 100,000 Nigerian refugees fleeing the country’s ongoing attacks.

An “unidentified” plane bombed a mosque in the village of Abadam in the Diffa region (southeast) in mid-February 2015, killing 36 people. Boko Haram militants had recently launched their first operations against Niger at the time.

Source: AFP.

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