N’DJAMENA, Nov 22 – Boko Haram militants killed at least 10 Chadian soldiers in an attack on a military unit in Lake Chad province near the Nigerian border on Tuesday, Chad’s government said in a statement.
The unit had been dispatched as a precursor to setting up an army post on the island of Bouka-Toullorom, between the villages of Ngouboua and Kaiga, where Boko Haram has carried out several offensives in recent years.
Militants attacked early on Tuesday morning, killing around 10 men and wounding several others, the statement said.
The Boko Haram insurgency, which erupted in northeast Nigeria in 2009, has killed more than 350,000 people and forced millions to flee their homes.
The group has spread to the swampy Lake Chad zone in the west of the country, where the armies of Chad, Nigeria and Niger have been fighting the Islamist militants for years.
Despite efforts to push them back, Boko Haram militants killed 92 Chadian soldiers and wounded 47 more in March 2020.
Chad’s transitional government has vowed to more than double the size of its army by the end of 2022 to deal with security challenges, including threats from Islamist militants linked to al Qaeda and the Islamic State.
The vast Central African country’s army is also fighting armed rebels along its northern border with Libya.
The transitional military government was formed after President Idriss Deby was killed while visiting troops battling Libya-based rebels in April 2021.
His son Mahamat Idriss Deby seized power after his father’s death.