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A soldier of the Nigerian army stands guard: attack on the village admitted

Photo: Akintunde Akinleye / REUTERS

The blow was aimed at militiamen, it hit a village. The Nigerian army has accidentally killed dozens of civilians in a drone strike in the northwestern state of Kaduna. 85 people have been buried so far, the disaster management authority said on its Facebook page. The death toll could still rise, and the search for more victims continues. A spokesperson confirmed the information on Tuesday.

The army had admitted on Monday that it had accidentally hit villagers who had been celebrating a Muslim festival in the village of Tudun Biri during the drone attack against militias on Sunday evening. Initially, the army did not provide any information on the number of fatalities. Villagers also spoke of 85 dead, including many women and children.

Raids and looting

Nigeria's armed forces are carrying out air strikes against so-called bandit militias in the northwest and northeast of the country. The gangs are mainly active in northwestern Nigeria, their bases are located deep in the forests. They raid and plunder villages and kidnap residents for ransom.

In northeastern Nigeria, jihadists had also taken control of large areas, but have recently been pushed back. More than 40,000 people have been killed in fighting since 2009 and two million people have been displaced.