A female suicide bomber killed six people after blowing herself up in western Chad early Wednesday, August 14, a senior army officer said, in an attack attributed to a faction of Boko Haram.
“Six people died, including a soldier,” in the attack in Kaiga-Kindji district, said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity.
A number of people were also injured, the officer said.
A local NGO confirmed the account.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Kaiga-Kindji lies in Lac province, which abuts the vast Lake Chad – a region shared by Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria.
The jihadist group known as Boko Haram began its bloody insurgency in northeastern Nigeria in 2009, but it has since spread into neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a regional military response.
More than 27,000 people have been killed and two million others displaced, sparking a dire humanitarian crisis in the region. The U.S. assesses that Boko Haram and ISWAP have been responsible for over 35,000 deaths since 2011.
Boko Haram split into two factions in mid-2016. One, led by long-time leader Abubakar Shekau, is notorious for indiscriminate killings of civilians and suicide bombings – including by women. Shekau pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi in March 2015, but ISIS central only gives formal backing to the other faction, which it calls Islamic State West Africa Province.
ISWAP is the dominant Boko Haram faction in the Lake Chad area.
It has carried out at least 10 cross-border attacks in Chad since 2018, mainly targeting army positions.
In March, 23 troops were killed when their forward position in Dangdala, on the northeastern side of the lake, came under attack.
In June, 11 soldiers were killed and six were wounded in clashes at Tchoukoutalia, according to the authorities, who said 26 jihadists were killed. Less than two weeks later, at least seven Chadian soldiers and a local guard were killed in an apparent ISWAP ambush in the N’Gouboua areanear Lake Chad.
The Multinational Joint Task Force, a regional counter-insurgency force comprising personnel from Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria, launched Operation Yancin Tafki on February 21 to battle the insurgents. It has said the cross-border operation is aimed at “making islands and other settlements in Lake Chaduntenable for Boko Haram Terrorists.”