A missile was 'accidentally' fired from a Chadian military jet while sitting on the tarmac, preparing for an anti-jihadist mission in Chad. The missile struck a nearby house, killing five people, reported DefPost.
The incident occurred on Friday (April 17), involving a Russian-made Sukhoi Su-25 of the Chadian Air Force. Local media said the missile was fired from the warplane parked on the tarmac at the Adji Kossei airbase, bordering N'Djamena International Airport, an international airport serving N'Djamena, the capital city of Chad.
Local media said the blast destroyed the home of Mahamat Saleh Arim, deputy commander of the presidential guard and a close ally of President Idriss Deby Itno. Five people were reported dead. It was also reported that the missile struck several meters from the Chad headquarters of anti-jihadist Operation Barkhane, an operation that started in 2014 and is led by the French military to exterminate Islamist groups in Africa's Sahel region.
"Following the accidental explosion of a rocket that occurred in the morning from a ground device of the Chadian Air Force, which caused several victims near the Kosseï Base, the French soldiers of the Barkhane force are immediately intervened in support of the Chadian security services to provide assistance to the victims.
Lifting, excavation and medical transport equipment, as well as several dozen Barkhane force personnel, including firefighters and medical personnel, were mobilized for rapid clearance of the affected area. Three wounded were taken into emergency care at the hospital of the French military base. The French Embassy in N'Djamena offers its deepest condolences to the families of the victims," the French Embassy in N'Djamena wrote in an online statement.
The dramatic footage was caught on the airbase's CCTV camera, shows the missile being fired from the Su-25.
In another tweet, the missile allegedly pierced through a French Army fuel truck, before hitting the home of the top military commander.
Joseph Dempsey, a defense and military analysis research associate at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said if the missile did not go off course, it would have hit or at leased "crossed" French military assets.
Had the #Chad rocket not gone off course - with fatal consequences - it would have crossed to opposite #France military operated apron - note @Armee_de_lair C-130 in foreground of video pic.twitter.com/idDV8xfuDQ— Joseph Dempsey (@JosephHDempsey) April 18, 2020
"An investigation is underway to determine the circumstances of this incident," said Youssouf Tom, public prosecutor at the N'Djamena High Court.
"The plane was taking off when the bomb broke loose, and hit a private residence in the city that houses soldiers' families next to the airbase," military personnel at the airbase told AFP.
The Chadian Air Force has a fleet of Russian-made Sukhoi jets that have been used to conduct aerial bombing raids against Boko Haram militants in the Lake Chad region.