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Nigeria: airstrike kills Red Cross people

An airstrike in Nigeria's north-east has killed dozens, including Red Cross people and civilians fleeing conflict.

Wednesday January 18, 2017

Nigerian Red Cross team
Nigerian Red Cross teams have been helping families fleeing the ongoing conflict in Nigeria's north-east. Photo: Nigerian Red Cross Society

The airstrike occurred on Tuesday 17 January in Rann province, hitting a camp for people fleeing the ongoing conflict in Nigeria's north-east.  

Six Nigerian Red Cross staff and volunteers were among the dead, and 13 more were wounded. The Red Cross team was there to provide food for more than 25,000 people in the camp.  

The International Committee of the Red Cross deployed medical teams to the camp after the airstrike, airlifting several injured people to Maiduguri for treatment.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of our six colleagues and shocked that an incident of this magnitude has occurred in a civilian area," said Elder (Chief) Bolaji Akpan Anani, President of the Nigerian Red Cross Society.

"Our hearts and prayers are with the bereaved and the wounded as we remain undaunted and focused on our commitment to those who need help."

Some 43,000 people have been displaced in Rann, and struggle with serious food shortages and malnutrition.  

The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement reminds all that aid workers must be able to operate safely and be allowed to deliver vital assistance where it is needed, without fear of losing their lives. Parties to the conflict must comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law to ensure that civilians are not affected by the hostilities.

Read more about protecting civilians and aid workers in conflicts