Federal police in Niger state told The Associated Press on Wednesday that a military operation had been conducted in the state. However, spokespeople for the Nigerian Air Force and Nigeria's Defense Headquarters have yet to respond to media inquiries.
Two state government officials have started to investigate the incident, said Mary Noel-Berge, chief press secretary to Niger's governor.
Military air raids are common in Nigeria, where an Islamist insurgency in the northeast and violent attacks by armed groups in the northwest and central regions have overstretched the country's armed forces.
In 2017, more than 100 people were killed when a refugee camp was mistakenly bombed. Some Nigerian army soldiers died in 2021 after a fighter jet that security forces said was targeting extremists bombed their truck.
“‘Accidental’ strikes are very rampant in Nigeria. One of the things we can attribute this to is faulty intel,” Confidence MacHarry, a security analyst with the Lagos-based SBM Intelligence security firm, said.
A lack of accountability also plays a role, he added.
"Not a single person has been punished in the history of all these airstrikes on civilians,” MacHarry said.