At least six people have been killed after a female suicide bomber blew herself up in western Chad, according to security sources, in an attack blamed on Boko Haram, a Nigeria-based armed group.
Sources told news agencies on Wednesday that the attack happened shortly after midnight in the compound of a traditional chieftain in Kaiga-Kindjiria district in Lac province
“Six people died, including a soldier,” a senior army officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, was quoted as saying by AFP news agency.
Four guards were among the dead, and five people were wounded, the official said.
The death toll of six was confirmed by Chadian army spokesman Colonel Azem Bermandoa, and by a local NGO.
Sources told Reuters news agency that the attacker walked into the compound and detonated her bomb just as people were preparing to go to bed.
A provincial security official said a woman wearing an explosives-laden belt “blew herself up near the home of a traditional chief”.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Boko Haram rarely claims responsibility for attacks.
Decades-long armed campaign
Kaiga-Kindjiria lies in Lac province, which abuts the vast Lake Chad – a region shared by Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria.
The area is a stronghold for Boko Haram itself and the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) splinter group.
Violence in the region has killed more than 30,000 people and displaced about two million since 2009 when Boko Haram first launched an armed campaign with the intention of carving out an Islamic caliphate in northeast Nigeria.
Fighters in the Lake Chad region have routinely ambushed soldiers, opened fire on markets and kidnapped women and children, including nearly 270 schoolgirls in the village of Chibok in 2014, a hundred of whom are still missing.
Boko Haram has carried out at least 10 cross-border attacks in Chad since 2018, mainly targeting army positions.
In 2015, the four Lake Chad countries, together with Benin, set up a combined force to fight Boko Haram with the help of local groups of armed citizens.