A Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jet on a mission against Boko Haram extremists mistakenly bombed men of the Nigerian Army on Sunday, a military source said.
At least 20 military officers were killed by the friendly fire, the source said.
The slain soldiers, who were reinforced from Ngandu village, were said to be on their way to Mainok, headquarters of the Kaga local government area of Borno state.
The area was under attack by militants from the Islamic State-backed faction of Boko Haram, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), formerly known as Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihād.
Terrorists had, according to Sahara Reporters, attacked a Nigerian Army location at 156 Battalion in the community, killing over 30 soldiers.
The terrorists who came in no fewer than 15 gun trucks also burnt down the military base.
A source said a reinforcement team of the Nigerian Army sent to the community was mistakenly bombed by a NAF fighter jet.
“The Boko Haram terrorists disguised in military uniform and gained access to the camp,” the military source told Sahara Reporters.
“They came in different groups and could not be counted. The Nigerian Army were pinned down, they requested for reinforcement, the reinforcement got on their way only to get smoked by the Nigerian Air Force.
“The (reinforcement) team was coming from Ngandu and was killed by the airstrike. NAF mistook them for Boko Haram as both were cladded in similar military uniform and operational vehicles,” the source said.
Villagers previously reported some civilian casualties in near-daily bombardments in northeastern Nigeria.
Recently, a military jet that came to repel an attack by Boko Haram dropped a bomb that landed in a compound where civilians were holding a naming ceremony.
Some of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014 and freed last year also said three of their classmates were killed by NAF bombardments.
On January 17, 2017, NAF also bombed humanitarian workers in Rann after, according to President Muhammadu Buhari, mistaken them for Boko Haram terrorists.