ABUJA, Nigeria — At least 85 people have been confirmed dead after a “mistaken” army drone attack on a religious gathering in northwest Nigeria, authorities said. The president on Tuesday ordered a probe into the latest in a series of mistakes in Nigeria's conflict zones.
“Eighty-five dead bodies have so far been buried while (a) search is still ongoing,” Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said in a statement that listed children, women and the elderly among the victims. At least 66 people were injured, the agency added.
Since 2017, some 400 civilians have been killed by airstrikes the military said were targeting armed groups in the deadly security crisis in the country's north, according to the Lagos-based SBM Intelligence security firm.
The victims in the latest incident were observing the Muslim holiday celebrating the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, Mawlid al-Nabi. They were killed Sunday night by drones “targeting terrorists and bandits” in Kaduna state's Tudun Biri village, according to government and security officials.
“The incidence of miscalculated airstrikes is assuming a worrisome dimension in the country,” said Atiku Abubakar, Nigeria's former vice-president and the main opposition presidential candidate in this year's election.
Nigeria's military often conducts air raids as it fights the extremist violence and rebel attacks that have destabilized Nigeria's north…