Dreadful Mistake: 85 Lives Lost in Drone Tragedy in Nigeria

85 Civilians Perish in Nigerian Army Drone Strike

In a tragic turn of events, at least 85 civilians, including women, children, and the elderly, lost their lives in a Nigerian army that mistakenly targeted a religious gathering in northwest Nigeria.

The devastating drone incident, which reportedly occurred in Tudun Biri village of Kaduna state, has left the nation in shock and grief, and brought to light the perilous consequences of military miscalculations in conflict zones.

The strike happened on a solemn night as residents were commemorating the Muslim holiday of the Prophet Muhammad's birthday.

YouTube video

Government officials confirmed that the military operation, intended to combat terrorists and bandits, tragically misfired, causing unprecedented civilian casualties.

According to the National Emergency Management Agency, the attack also left 66 people injured, and a frantic search continues for potential additional victims.

Nigeria's army chief, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, expressed his regret over the incident during a visit to the village, acknowledging the grave error.

He explained that the strike was based on observations that suggested bandit activity, which tragically turned out to be inaccurate.

This incident adds to a troubling history of similar occurrences in Nigeria. Since 2017, around 400 civilians have reportedly been killed in airstrikes that were aimed at armed groups, as per SBM Intelligence, a Lagos-based security firm.

These frequent miscalculated airstrikes are increasingly becoming a source of national concern.

Atiku Abubakar, Nigeria's former vice-president and a leading opposition presidential candidate, voiced his alarm over the rising incidents of errant airstrikes.

Meanwhile, President Bola Tinubu has ordered a comprehensive investigation into this tragic mistake. However, the outcomes of such investigations typically remain undisclosed, contributing to public mistrust.

These drone strikes are part of Nigeria's ongoing military efforts to quell extremist violence and insurgent attacks that have plagued the country's north for over a decade.

Maj. Gen. Edward Buba, speaking on behalf of Nigeria's Defense Headquarters, pointed out the challenge of terror suspects embedding themselves within civilian populations, though he did not specifically refer to the Tudun Biri incident.

Experts like Kabir Adamu, founder of Abuja-based Beacon Consulting, have expressed concerns about the lack of coordinated efforts and due diligence among Nigerian security agencies, particularly in conflict zones.

The unchecked proliferation of drones and a lack of clear operational guidelines have only compounded these issues.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have criticized the Nigerian military for the lack of transparency and accountability in such operations.

Isa Sanusi, Amnesty International's director in Nigeria, condemned the military's indifference to the consequences of their actions, emphasizing that it is the civilians who are bearing the brunt of their errors.

This heart-wrenching event in Tudun Biri stands as a stark reminder of the dire need for stringent measures and protocols to ensure the protection of innocent lives amidst military operations.

The call for justice and accountability grows louder as the nation mourns the loss of its civilians in a tragedy that could have been prevented.

Photo courtesy of 24.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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