Tudun Biri drone strike

On 3 December 2023, a drone strike was carried out by the Nigerian Armed Forces on Tudun Biri, Kaduna State. Targeting what they thought was a group of bandits, the army mistakenly hit a village, killing at least 88 civilians.

Tudun Biri drone strike
Part of Nigerian bandit conflict
LocationTudun Biri, Kaduna State, Nigeria
Date3 December 2023
Attack type
Accidental drone strike
Deaths120+ (per Amnesty International Nigeria)[1]
88+ (per Nigerian authorities)[2]
Perpetrator Nigerian Air Force

Background edit

In their campaigns against bandits and jihadist activity in northern Nigeria, drones have been heavily used by the Nigerian government.[3] These have led to airstrikes on civilian centers with heavy casualties, including an attack in Nasarawa State in January that killed 39 civilians.[4] A drone strike in Kaduna State in March 2023 killed three others in Sabon Gida.[5] Survivors of the attack stated that no bandits were in Tudun Biri, and the one time there was a bandit, he was disowned.[6]

Strike edit

The drone strike occurred as the villagers were celebrating Mawlid, the birth of the Prophet Muhammad. A Nigerian drone flying overhead in routine counter-terrorism operations mistook the movements of the civilians for bandits, and the Nigerian Air Force called in an airstrike on the village.[5] A survivor of the attacks stated that "I was just standing when I head loud sounds of bombs."[6] Immediately after the attacks, the survivors fled in every direction, sleeping in the woods that night.[6]

The Nigerian Air Force initially denied responsibility for the attacks, but later admitted that 85 people were killed.[5] This number was stated by Kaduna State governor Uba Sani and the Nigerian National Emergency Management Agency.[1][2] Amnesty International's Nigeria office, citing locals, stated that 120 people were killed in the attack.[1] Most of the dead were children.[1]

Aftermath edit

Fifty bodies were buried on the first day, and the remaining bodies were buried in a mass burial on December 5.[6]

Reactions edit

President Bola Tinubu expressed his condolences for the victims, and ordered an investigation into the airstrike.[7] Nigerian Army chief of staff Taoreed Lagbaja attended the funeral and echoed Tinubu's sentiments.[6]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d "Nigerian military drone attack kills 85 civilians in error". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 2023-12-06.
  2. ^ a b Ogao, Emma. "88 dead after military drone mistakenly strikes festival in Nigeria's Kaduna State, local officials say". ABC News. Retrieved 2023-12-06.
  3. ^ "'Dole a hukunta wadanda suka hari ta sama a jihar Kaduna'" ['Those who carried out aerial attacks in Kaduna state must be punished']. BBC News Hausa (in Hausa). 2023-12-05. Retrieved 2023-12-05.
  4. ^ "Nigeria: No Justice for Civilians Killed in Airstrike | Human Rights Watch". 2023-06-06. Retrieved 2023-12-06.
  5. ^ a b c Torelli, Chiara (2023-12-06). "Kaduna: 85 civilians killed, 66 injured in mistaken Nigerian air strike during religious celebrations in Tudun Biri village, 3 Dec". AOAV. Retrieved 2023-12-06.
  6. ^ a b c d e Isenyo, Godwin (2023-12-05). "We thought terrorists were raining bombs – Kaduna community attack survivors". Punch Newspapers. Retrieved 2023-12-06.
  7. ^ "Tinubu ya ce a gudanar da bincike kan harin da ya kashe masu Mauludi a Kaduna" [Tinubu said that there should be an investigation into the attack that killed the Mauludi people in Kaduna]. RFI (in Hausa). 2023-12-05. Retrieved 2023-12-05.