This is an unspeakable fiasco for the Nigerian military. A drone accidentally killed at least 85 civilians in a village in the northwestern state of Kaduna on Sunday, emergency officials said Tuesday (December 5th), in one of the country's deadliest military airstrike accidents.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Tuesday ordered an investigation after the military acknowledged that one of its drones had accidentally hit the village of Tudun Biri while residents were celebrating a Muslim holiday.

The army did not give casualty figures, but residents said 85 people, many of them women and children, had been killed.

"The North-West Area Office has received information from local authorities that 85 bodies have been buried so far, while the search continues," the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said in a statement.

Fight against armed groups

NEMA said another 66 people were being treated at the hospital, but emergency officials were still negotiating with local traditional leaders to ease tensions and allow access to the village.

"President Tinubu describes the incident as very unfortunate, disturbing and painful, and expresses his outrage and sorrow at the tragic loss of Nigerian lives," the presidency said in a statement.

The Nigerian armed forces often use airstrikes in their fight against militias known as "bandits" in the north-west and north-east of the country, where terrorist groups have been waging a 14-year conflict.

With AFP

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