Togo army says it was behind blast that killed several civilians

Togo’s army on Thursday said it was responsible for a blast that killed seven civilians and injured two more, after mistaking them for militants.

Togo’s troops have been deployed in the area to try and contain a spillover of the threat towards coastal West Africa.

The army said Sunday it had opened an investigation “to determine the circumstances of this explosion and identify the perpetrators”.

On Thursday, Togo’s armed forces chief of staff General Dadja Maganawe concluded an aircraft had wrongly targeted the civilians in the village of Margba, in Tone prefecture.

In a statement, General Maganawe said the army had previously received “intelligence” indicating a threat of “infiltration by armed gangs wanting to conduct terrorist attacks” against local communities.

“Because of the imminent danger,” he said the commander leading an operation code-named Koundjoare “reinforced surveillance as well as ground and aerial control in the area”.

“It was during those operations that an aircraft patrolling at night, unfortunately, targeted a group of people it had mistakenly identified as militants on the move,” Maganawe said.