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Nigerian Army Kills Refugees and Aid Workers in Air Strikes Aimed at Boko Haram

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2017 Jan 18
  • Comments

An airstrike carried out by Nigeria’s military killed at least 52 refugees and aid workers when it was meant to target Boko Haram militants.

According to, the airstrike occurred in Rann in Borno state. The fifty-two civilians who were killed and the other 120 who were injured were living in a refugee camp or were aid workers working with the refugees.

"At least 52 people were killed and 120 wounded," said Tim Shenk, a spokesman for Medecins Sans Frontieres, a medical charity. "The organization's medical and surgical teams in the region are preparing to treat evacuated patients," he added.

Six of those killed were reportedly Red Cross workers.

The airstrike was carried out as part of the Nigerian military’s ongoing campaign to eradicate the Boko Haram terrorist group which has killed more than 15,000 people since 2010 and forced an estimated two million others to flee their homes.

The government of NIgeria has said that the Boko Haram militants are losing territory. The attack which ended up targeting civilians was supposed to be part of the “final phase of mopping up insurgents in the northeast,” according to government officials.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said the tragic accident “underlines the importance of protecting civilians in complex humanitarian emergencies.”


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Publication date: January 18, 2017