A Nigerian military attack that used drones to target rebels instead killed at least 85 civilians gathered for a religious celebration, authorities said on Monday.
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”.
The National Emergency Management Agency said in a statement on Tuesday that “85 dead bodies have so far been buried while the search is still ongoing”.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International’s Nigeria office said 120 people were killed in the attack, citing reports of its workers and volunteers in the area.
At least 50 bodies were recovered, according to Igabi resident Mustapha Rufai. “They said they mistakenly threw a bomb on them,” he said.
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.