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Nigeria Army Drone Strike Accident Kills 85 Civilians

A Nigerian army drone strike accidentally killed at least 85 civilians on Sunday in a village in northwest Kaduna State, emergency officials said, in one of the country’s deadliest military bombing accidents.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Tuesday ordered an investigation after the army acknowledged one of its drones accidentally struck Tudun Biri village as residents were celebrating a Muslim festival.

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

“The Northwest Zonal Office has received details from the local authorities that 85 dead bodies have so far been buried while search is still ongoing,” the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said in a statement.

NEMA said another 66 people were being treated at the hospital, but emergency officials were still negotiating with community leaders to calm tensions to be able reach the village.

“President Tinubu describes the incident as very unfortunate, disturbing, and painful, expressing indignation and grief over the tragic loss of Nigerian lives,” the presidency said in a statement.

Nigeria’s armed forces often rely on air strikes in their battle against so-called bandit militias in the northwest and northeast of the country, where jihadists have been fighting for more than a decade.

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