A triple suicide bombing on an island in Lake Chad has killed at least 27 men and women and left more than 80 wounded, a Chadian security source says.
It was one more apparent strike by Boko Haram Islamists in spite of a regional offensive to cease the insurgency.
“Three suicide bombers blew themselves up in 3 different locations at the weekly industry on Loulou Fou, an island in Lake Chad,” the source in the capital N’Djamena stated, speaking on situation of anonymity.
On November 9, N’Djamena declared a state of emergency in the flashpoint Lake Chad area, which also straddles Nigeria, Cameroon and Niger and is regularly targeted by Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists.
The group declared allegiance to the Islamic State this year.
The decree granted the governor of the remote area the authority to ban the circulation of individuals and automobiles, to search properties and to seize arms.
In current months, Boko Haram fighters have stepped up attacks and suicide bombings on Chadian villages in the lake region that lie close to the frontier with Nigeria.
The deadliest attack on Chad’s side of the lake took spot on October ten, an additional triple suicide, which killed 41 men and women at Baga Sola.
Considering that the start of the year, the Chadian army has been on the front line of a regional military operation against Boko Haram, whose attacks have spread from northeast Nigeria, its traditional stronghold, to the country’s 3 Lake Chad neighbours.
The joint operation of the four Lake Chad nations plus Benin has involved eight,700 soldiers, police and civilians.
Markets a popular target
Regardless of being hit difficult by the offensive, losing territory, Boko Haram has responded with a wave of attacks and bombings.
Their attacks are typically carried out by young females or adolescent boys targeting markets, which are at heart of African everyday life.
Chadian president Idris Deby Itno not too long ago admitted that the regional force, which is not yet fully operational, “has without having a doubt weakened” the Islamists but “it has not defeated” them.
Nonetheless, Cameroon, part of the regional offensive, on Wednesday claimed to have dealt a key blow to Boko Haram, killing around one hundred fighters and freeing 900 hostages in a three-day operation last week.
The claim comes on the heels of twin attacks by ladies suicide bombers the preceding day in the far north of Cameroon, an region repeatedly targeted by the Islamists in which at least six men and women died.
No independent confirmation of the Cameroonian government’s statement was immediately obtainable from the area, which is inaccessible to the media.
Boko Haram fighters, believed to be hiding out in Nigeria’s Sambisa forest and the Lake Chad’s several islands, are held responsible for 17,000 deaths and for making 2.5 million men and women homeless in their six-year campaign of violence.
Over the previous year Boko Haram has stepped up cross-border attacks in Niger, Chad and Cameroon even though also continuing to mount shooting and suicide assaults on markets, mosques and other mostly civilian targets inside Nigeria itself.
Subjects: unrest-conflict-and-war, government-and-politics, chad