The defence headquarters says “lack of appropriate marking’’ caused the January 17 air strike that led to the deaths of 126 civilians in Rann, Borno state.
John Enenche, director of defence information, said this on Friday while briefing journalists on the outcome of the board of Inquiry set up to probe the air mishap.
Enenche said the bombing was carried out because the location was not “reflected in the operational map as a humanitarian base.”
“The main reason that caused the unfortunate airstrike near the IDPs camp at Rann was a lack of appropriate marking of the area near the camp where the IDPs were struck,” he said.
“Hitherto, people were not expected to amass at that location.
“The normal pattern for Boko Haram terrorists before attacking innocent civilians and troops is to amass.
“Hence, it appeared as a place that could equally be used for enemy activities.
“Thus, when mass movement was noticed through aerial satellite observation, it was taken for Boko Haram terrorists’ activity, which needed to be neutralised with speed.
“To avert future occurrence, all locations where humanitarian activities take place in the theatre of operation would be marked appropriately for ground and aerial identification in line with international best practices.’’