Saturday 16 December 2017

Boko Haram attacks refugee camp bombed by Nigerian air force

Cameroon soldiers stand guard at a lookout post as they take part in operations against Boko Haram (AP)
Cameroon soldiers stand guard at a lookout post as they take part in operations against Boko Haram (AP)

Boko Haram extremists have attacked a refugee camp in north-east Nigeria days after government planes bombed it, witnesses said, as reports emerged that the death toll from the bombing could be as high as 170.

More than 100 Boko Haram fighters launched the attack on Thursday evening, and soldiers battled for hours trying to repel them, witnesses said.

One witness said eight Boko Haram fighters were killed and one soldier was injured in the assault on the camp at Rann in Borno state, near the border with Cameroon.

On Tuesday, Nigeria's air force bombed the camp housing Boko Haram refugees multiple times. Nigerian officials have said it was an accident.

On Friday, medical charity Doctors Without Borders said "around 90" people were killed in the bombing but residents and community leaders said the toll could be as high as 170.

Satellite imagery from the bombing supports witness accounts that the camp was struck with "multiple air-dropped munitions" even though tents should have been easily visible, Human Rights Watch said.

The group has called for victims to be compensated.

Nigeria's air force has said a panel of senior officers will investigate.

The Boko Haram attack occurred as aid workers were trying to help bombing victims. The Red Cross said it had evacuated nearly 90 people from Rann to Maiduguri city for medical care.

"This incident happened just an hour after a (Doctors Without Borders) rescue helicopter left the town and has a traumatising effect on everyone in Rann," said one aid worker.

AP

Press Association

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