The death toll from a botched Nigerian air strike against Boko Haram that hit a camp for displaced people has risen to 90, and could climb as high as 170, Doctors Without Borders said on Friday.
Most of the victims of Tuesday’s strike in Rann in the restive northeast on Tuesday were women and children, said the medical charity, which has called the strike “shocking and unacceptable”.
Meanwhile, security sources said Boko Haram fighters launched an attack on the town in the far north of Borno state on Thursday evening that left at least 14 Islamist fighters dead.
Nigeria’s air force said it has set up a board of inquiry which will report its findings before February 2, but military commanders have already called the bombing a mistake.
Major General Lucky Irabor, who leads the counter-insurgency, blamed the “fog of war” and said the intended target was jihadists in the Kala-Balge area, of which Rann is part.
Boko Haram fighters have been pushed out of their camps in the Sambisa Forest area of southern Borno by a months’ long offensive.
MSF said in a statement: “Around 90 people were killed when a Nigerian air force plane circled twice and dropped two bombs in the middle of the town of Rann.
There were “consistent reports from residents and community leaders” that as many as 170 were killed but MSF director-general Bruno Jochum said: “This figure needs to be confirmed.
“The victims of this horrifying event deserve a transparent account of what happened and the circumstances in which this attack took place.”