A Russian-made Su-25, belonging to the Chadian Air Force accidentally fired a missile that veered into a senior Chadian commander’s home, killing five people including three children. 

The video footage captures the firing of the missile at the Adji Kossei airbase as the aircraft was preparing to take off. The missile clips an empty fuel tanker, which made it veer just away from a parked French C-130 aircraft before disappearing from view. It then slammed into the home of General Mahamat Salah Brahim, Deputy Commander of the Presidential Guard. 

According to local reports, four people — two adults and two children — were initially reported dead. A young girl, critically injured in the blast, died later in the hospital. General Brahim is not thought to be among those killed. 

“Around 12:00 noon local time, a shell accidentally fired from a military plane which was about to take off from the Adji Kossei military base in N’Djamena,” Chief of Staff of the  Chadian Army, General Abakar Abdelkarim Daoud said.

“The shell fired, unfortunately, [hit] the city where military families live in the Farcha Garan Goso district not far from the military airport. The residence of the deputy commander of the presidential guard, General Mahamat Salah Brahim, was affected causing the deaths of at least four people including two children and two adults, and causing injuries.”

“An investigation is underway to determine the circumstances of this incident,” said Youssouf Tom, the public prosecutor at N’Djamena.

The Chadian Air Force has Russian-made Su-25 and MiG-29s combat jets in its fleet, since purchasing them from Ukraine in 2014. The Su-25 ground attack aircraft was used last month to strike Boko Haram militants near Lake Chad.

The Adji Kossei airbase is also the Chadian headquarters to the French-led “Operation Barkhane,” a multinational effort with the G5 Sahel to oust Islamic jihadists from the Sahel. France has 5,100 troops in the region. It is also running “Operation Takuba,” which is comprised of Special Forces from a number of European nations. Its purpose is to advise host nation forces.

“French soldiers of Operation Barkhane were immediately deployed to support the Chadian forces and provided assistance to the victims after the accidental explosion of a rocket from a ground device of the Chadian Air Force.” the French Embassy in N’Djaména said in a statement. “It caused several victims near the Kossei Base. Three wounded were taken into emergency care at the hospital of the French military base.”

“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 fighting in Chad, especially around the Lake Chad area against Boko Haram jihadists, has gotten increasingly bloody in recent months. An attack by Boko Haram militants on an isolated army outpost at Boma recently killed 100 soldiers. It was the bloodiest day for the Chadian Army.

President Idriss Déby announced earlier this month that Chad would begin the operation “Wrath of Boma” against Boko Haram militants. The Su-25 jets at the airbase are believed to have been part of that ongoing operation.

The Su-25 (Frogfoot) has been in operation for over 30 years and is considered to be a formidable ground-attack aircraft. It is the Russian equivalent of the American A-10.

The Su-25’s armament has typically consisted of unguided 250 or 500-kilogram bombs, cluster bombs, and rockets. The rockets are attached to pods containing dozens of 57mm or 80mm rockets. The Su-25 also has a Gsh-30-2 30-millimeter cannon under the nose with 260 rounds of ammunition. It has seen wide use in conflicts around the world.