By Jennifer Ugwueke
Some soldiers have been killed after a fighter jet belonging to the Nigerian Air Force reportedly fired a bomb on ground troops in Mainok, Borno State.
Reports say that the air force “accidentally” hit the wrong coordinates while targeting Boko Haram insurgents who had attacked the troops on Sunday.
Edward Gabkwet, air force spokesman, told newsmen the incident is being investigated when he was contacted on Monday.
The insurgents had attacked a military base in Mainok and reportedly overpowered the troops who called for reinforcement.
The truck which was sent for reinforcement was targeted and shelled by the air strike following a flawed intelligence, sources said.
One of the soldiers in the affected area told newsmen: “They (Boko Haram) came with heavy machines, about four MRAPS (mine-resistant ambush protected) vehicles and they overpowered the ground troops.
“Troops sent signals for air support and when they came, it missed the main coordinates; where the air force shelled their bomb was on the location of troops instead of that of Boko Haram.
“The aircraft had to turn back. They realised that they mistargeted (and) most of the soldiers started running inside the bush.”
Gabkwet told journalists he also saw a video from the affected scene and that the air force is investigating the matter.
“All I can say is that the matter is being investigated. It is not a matter that we can just quickly give answers to,” the air force spokesman said during a phone interview.
The incident happened about a year after the air force “mistakenly” bombed a village in Damboa LGA of Borno, killing 17 people including women and children.
A similar incident occurred in January 2017 when the air force killed more than 100 internally displaced persons (IDPs) during an accidental bombing.