No fewer than twenty-four Chadian soldiers were reportedly killed during an attack by suspected jihadists in the troubled Lake Chad region.
As gathered, the terrorist attack which killed the troops occurred at Tchoukou Telia, an island 190 kilometres (118 miles) northwest of the capital N’Djamena.
Chadian Army Spokesperson, General Azem Agouna, who confirmed the development, declined from commenting on the incident and also failed to give details of the toll.
But giving an eyewitness account, a senior local official, Haki Djiddi, said that the soldiers met their end while returning from patrol.
“Troops from a returning patrol were resting when they were attacked by Boko Haram” on Wednesday, the region’s deputy prefect. Twenty-four troops were killed, several were wounded and others have scattered into the countryside,” he told journalists.
Lake Chad is a vast area of water and marshland bordered by Niger, Nigeria, and Cameroon as well as Chad. Jihadists from Boko Haram and a rival splinter group, the Islamic State West Africa Province, have been using the region for years as a haven from which to attack troops and civilians.
The Chadian authorities tend to call the jihadists “Boko Haram” regardless of their affiliation. In March 2020, around 100 Chadian troops were killed in an overnight attack on the lake’s Bohoma peninsula, prompting an offensive led by Chad’s late president, Idriss Deby Itno.
Deby was killed in April 2021 during fighting against rebels in northern Chad and was succeeded by his son, Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, at the head of a military junta.
Boko Haram launched a revolt in northern Nigeria in 2009 before extending its campaign into neighbouring countries. According to UN figures, more than 36,000 people, most of them in Nigeria, have died and three million have fled their homes.