from EMEKA OKWONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – DOCTORS have expressed horror at the aftermath of an airstrike that left at least 12 people dead at the border between Niger and Nigeria.
It is reported the Nigerian military launched the air attack while pursuing armed men at a small village in the Madarounfa district of southern Niger.
Four children are among those killed.
One of the children died shortly after arrival at Madarounfa District Hospital. Two others died after being transferred to the regional hospital in Maradi.
A fourth child, aged 20 months, died in the bombing, according to survivors.
Doctors confirmed the deaths.
“This is a horrific event, unprecedented in the Madarounfa region,” said Dr Souley Harouna, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF or Doctors Without Borders) representative in Niger.
The medical executive said teams reported that the injured children suffered open fractures and various wounds and post-traumatic injuries.
“We helped performing first aid before transferring them to the hospital in Maradi, but some of the injured did not survive,” Harouna said.
The region between Niger and Nigeria is a hotspot of banditry.
The Islamist Boko Haram group carries out attacks in both countries.
The insurgency has intensified since 2009.
In 2017, a Nigerian air force fighter jet mistakenly bombed a town crowded with people who had fled Islamist militants, killing more than 50.
– CAJ News