About 17 people have been killed when after a fighter jet belonging to the Nigerian Air Force fired a bomb on Sakotoku village in Damboa local government area of Borno state.
According to residents, women, and children who were said to be playing under mango trees, were amongst those killed.
According to military sources, the Air Force, was informed that Boko Haram insurgents were gathering around the village on Thursday afternoon.
However, the ideal target, according to a source, was an area in Korongilum, a neighbouring village 12 kilometres away from where suspected Boko Haram insurgents had gathered earlier.
“We don’t know if they didn’t communicate well with the land troops as the air force jet fired that bomb on the village,” one of the sources said.
“Seventeen people were killed, mostly women and their children playing under mango trees. Many were also injured and have been taken to the 25 army brigade in Damboa, and those with critical injuries were taken to Maiduguri.”
This was not the first time civilians have been innocently killed by fighter jets out of error, or have exhibited negligence. In February, residents of Garkida, Adamawa state and Korongilum, Borno state, had accused NAF fighter jets for refusing to open fire on suspected Boko Haram insurgents when they attacked their communities.
The then NAF spokesperson, Ibikunle Daramola, had told the press that they could not engage the insurgents because the situation in Garkida was chaotic, and that they took the measure so they would not hit civilians.
Another took place in 2017, when 126 civilians were killed in Rann, Borno state, in an accidental air strike by the military.
Daramola had said, when contacted, “It’s a matter of operation and the defence headquarters would be in a better position to speak on the matter.”
Both Onyema Nwachukwu and John Enenche, defence headquarters spokespersons, were not reachable for comment as they neither responded to calls nor replied text messages.