- Officials of Kalabalge local government in Borno state have said 236 people were killed in the Rann IDP bombing on Tuesday, January 17
- The local government chairman, Babagana Malarima, gave the figure in Borno state
- He called for compensation from President Muhammadu Buhari so as to help console the people who lost their relations to the unfortunate incident
Kalabalge local government officials in Borno state have claimed that not less than 236 people were killed during the accidental military air strike that hit Rann, a community in the state on Tuesday January 17, 2017.
Prior to the official figure, there was confusion over the death toll from the airstrike.
Vanguard is reporting that Babagana Malarima, the chairman of the local government council, said the death figure was higher than the earlier figures released by group under the aegis of Doctors Without Borders.
According to him: “From what the people who buried the dead victims with their hands told me, not those who treated the wounded, they buried 234 dead and I later got a report that two of the injured taken to Maiduguri died, that totaled 236.”
The IDP camp that was bombed was put together to assist people running from Boko Haram in the state.
The military jet on Tuesday accidentally dropped a bomb inside the Rann IDP camp leading to death of several persons in the community.
Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, the army spokesman, said the tragic incident was a mistake and it was deeply regretted.
As at Tuesday, there were no exact figures of the casualties as there was confusion all over the place.
While military officials say the incident was a mistake, the IDP dwellers claimed it was not a mistake, but that they were deliberately bombed.
Malarima said: “Our people are really traumatised that a fighter jet belonging to their country could make this mistake and kill them the way it did in their own country.
“Lives and property have been lost. It is not enough to just bury the dead and pray for their souls. Their families should be supported as is done in other countries”.
Channels Television also reports that Malarima is calling for compensation for his people.
“Our problem since this local government was created about 20 years now (is that) we need a road to link this headquarter to other parts of the state (while) the second thing is with what happened. Now, we are begging President Muhammadu Buhari to compensate us.
“Many people have lost their loved ones as most of them are the bread winners. 236 people is not a small number; we need to compensate these people. Yes! 234 (people were) buried by the community and it’s even more than this.
“The report I received from Maiduguri this morning (Saturday) is that two people who are in the hospital have also died. Therefore we need to be compensated seriously.
“It was the market day, it was not like the normal market day. After all this is a place where our activities was on a skeletal basis but it has been reduced to the lowest ebb,” the LGA chairman said.
The strike was said to have happened while humanitarian workers were distributing food in Rann, a small town close to the Cameroon border where some 20,000 to 40,000 people had sought refuge from the Boko Haram insurgency.