Panafrican News Agency

Nigeria’s Defence Minister goes to Niger amid row over airstrikes killing 12 in Niger border village

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) – Nigeria’s Defence Minister, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd), on Monday travelled to Niamey, Niger, amid a row over Nigerian airstrikes in the Niger border village of Nachadé in the Maradi region, last Friday in which 12 people, including seven children, were killed.

The Governor of Maradi region, Niger Republic, Chaibou Aboubacar, who first broke the news, did not say how he knew that the Nigerian Air Force carried out the attack.

Medical charity, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), which cared for some of the wounded, confirmed the airstrike and said 12 people died.

Local inhabitants told MSF that Nigerian forces were pursuing terrorists’ targets who had fled into the border town.

The area where the airstrikes occurred is a region where terrorism and banditry are prevalent and where both Nigerian and Nigerien governments fear that Islamist terrorists linked to Islamic State are gaining ground.

Meanwhile, Nigeria has launched a “painstaking investigation” into the incident because of the very close diplomatic and security partnership between both countries.

"We want to get to the root of the incident and if there were any infringements, we will make sure they do not occur again between the two brotherly nations,” the sources said.

-0- PANA MON/MA 21Feb2022