A total of 234 people were killed and buried after a Nigerian military jet mistakenly bombed a camp occupied by persons displaced by Boko Haram, an official has said.
The Chairman of Kala-Balge Local Government Area of Borno State, Babagana Malarima, said 234 persons were buried in Rann village, which is in the local government, after the January 17 bombing.
The Nigerian military and the federal government have described the bombing as an accident and expressed solidarity with the victims. An Air Force investigation team has since arrived Borno to investigate the attack.
The military said the jet was meant to target suspected Boko Haram members when it accidentally bombed the camp.
Mr. Malarima said two other injured persons died in the hospital after they were flown by helicopter from the camp.
He disclosed this on Friday when the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, visited Rann.
The council chairman is the first government official to give a major casualty figure after the Doctors without Borders, MSF, announced on the day of the attack that 52 persons died and 120 others injured.
The MSF later said the death toll could be as high as 174.
“We buried 234 corpses in Rann after the bombs were dropped on the IDP camp,” Mr. Malarima said. “We have two others injured persons that died while in hospital in Maiduguri.”
Several of the wounded were flown by helicopter to Maiduguri due to the bad and insecure state of roads that link the Borno Capital with Kala-Balge, where the Rann camp is located.
The council chairman said the families of the dead persons as well as the injured ones are asking for compensation from the Nigerian government.
The victims, mostly Muslims, have not stated the terms of compensation. But in Islam compensation for manslaughter is paid to the tune of 100 camels or its equivalent, which could be about N40 million person.
Should the victims insist on payment by Islamic standard, which is sometimes used in parts of Northern Nigeria, the federal could pay as much as N9.5 billion compensation.