Chad bombs Boko Haram camps in retaliatory attack

Chadian warplanes bombed Boko Haram positions in Nigeria to avenge Monday’s twin suicide bombings in its capital N’Djamena, which it blamed on the Islamist sect.

More than 50 people are believed to have been killed in the attack.

Chad’s military vowed it would continue its “merciless” pursuit of the armed group “so that no drop of spilt Chadian blood goes unpunished”.

“In response to the cowardly and barbaric acts perpetrated by Boko Haram terrorists… the armed forces carried out reprisal air strikes on the terrorists’ positions in Nigerian territory on Wednesday,” the military said in a statement yesterday.

Six Boko Haram bases were destroyed in the air raids, which caused “considerable human and material losses”, it said, without giving further details.

But the Nigerian military said there was no such attack on the country’s territory.

Monday’s attacks on the police headquarters and a police academy in N’Djamena were the first in the capital of the central African country, which has taken a lead role in a regional offensive against the Nigeria-based Boko Haram.

No group has claimed responsibility but Chad and its allies immediately blamed the Boko Haram, which have carried out a series of bloody attacks in border areas of countries that share a frontier with northeastern Nigeria.

Chad has also banned the full-face veil and ordered security forces to seize burqas from markets and burn them.

“Wearing the burqa must stop immediately from today, not only in public places and schools but throughout the whole of the country,” Prime Minister Kalzeube Pahimi Deubet told religious leaders the day before the start of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

Any type of clothing that leaves only the eyes visible is a form of “camouflage” and is now banned, he added, asking religious leaders to spread the message in mosques, churches and other holy places.

Deubet said security forces in the Muslim majority country had been instructed to “go into the markets and to seize all the burqas on sale and burn them”.

Anyone found wearing a burqa will be “arrested, tried and sentenced in summary proceedings”, he added

The Defence Headquarters yesterday denied claims that the Chadian military carried out air strikes on some Boko Haram targets in Nigeria.

It said it suspected that the areas attacked by Chadian forces might likely be in Niger Republic.

Director of Defence Information, Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, said in a statement: “The claim that the Chadian military has conducted air strikes against six terrorist camps in Nigeria is not correct.

“The fact is that the Nigerian Air Force surveillance mission identified targets tagged as Camp 6 around Bosso town which is not within Nigeria’s territory and alerted the partners accordingly.

“The places reported to have been struck by the Chadian are therefore most likely to be in Niger Republic and not Nigeria as widely reported in the international media.

“Although the terms of the multilateral and bilateral understanding with partners in the war against terror allow some degree of hot pursuit against the terrorists, the territory of Nigeria has not been violated as insinuated in the reports circulated in some foreign media.

“The Nigerian military will continue to cooperate with partners in the mission to exterminate or contain terrorists strictly in conformity with existing terms of the Concept of Operation at strategic, operational or tactical levels.

“It is however important that issues are accurately reported while avoiding misleading or unnecessary sensationalism from any quarter.”

The post Chad bombs Boko Haram camps in retaliatory attack appeared first on The Nation.

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