A Nigerian Air Force fighter jet has mistakenly bombed a refugee camp in the country, killing at least 52 people and injuring 120 others.

The accidental air strike occurred in Rann in Borno state, when the aircraft was on its mission against Boko Haram, media sources reported.

Boko Haram is an Islamic extremist group that is based in northeastern Nigeria and also active in neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari spokesman Femi Adesina was quoted by Reuters as saying: "The president pledges federal help for the state government in attending to this regrettable operational mistake.”

Six Nigeria Red Cross members were among the dead, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) confirmed.

In addition to Red Cross, members of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), also known as Doctors Without Borders, were also present at the site.

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By GlobalData

MSF operations director Dr Jean-Clément Cabrol said: "This large-scale attack on vulnerable people who have already fled extreme violence is shocking and unacceptable.

"This large-scale attack on vulnerable people who have already fled extreme violence is shocking and unacceptable."

"The safety of civilians must be respected.

"We are urgently calling on all parties to ensure the facilitation of medical evacuations by air or road for survivors who are in need of emergency care."

MSF medical teams are currently providing first aid to wounded patients and other MSF medical and surgical teams in the region are also preparing to treat evacuated patients.

Image: The refugee camp in Nigeria. Photo: courtesy of Médecins Sans Frontières.