Civilians may have been killed and injured in error going by the admission of the Nigerian Air Force on Thursday.
According to its spokesman, its aircraft was pursuing suspected Islamist insurgents in the northeast state of Yobe, resulting in an airstrike that residents said left at least six people dead.
The spokesman, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, said a fighter jet responded to intelligence on suspicious movements of suspected insurgents from either the Boko Haram group or ISWAP on Wednesday and fired “some probing shots”, killing and injuring civilians in the process.
He did not specify any number.
“Unfortunately reports reaching Nigerian Air Force headquarters alleged that some civilians were erroneously killed while others were injured,” he said in a statement.
“Therefore a board of inquiry has been set up to thoroughly investigate the circumstances of the incident.”
According to Reuters News Agency, three residents in Yobe’s Yunasari local government area said that the air force jet had flown over the village on Wednesday morning before there were explosions
“We saw it hovering around the village and suddenly we heard two loud bangs,” a resident, Ibrahim Goni told Reuters by phone.
One resident said he had lost four of his relatives while another said his mother and niece had died in the incident.
At least 45 people had been taken to Gaidam General Hospital in Yobe. (with Reuters reports)