Landmine blast kills eight Chadian soldiers JULY 09, 2020

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Landmine blast kills eight Chadian soldiers JULY 09, 2020

ISLAMABAD-At least eight soldiers in western Chad were killed and many others wounded when their vehicle struck a landmine laid by suspected militants, security sources and a local official said Thursday.

The blast occurred on Wednesday at Kalam in the Lake Chad region, which has been battered by attacks from militants crossing from neighbouring Nigeria.

The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, put the toll at eight or nine dead and between 11 and 21 wounded.

A security source in Nigeria also gave the figure of nine dead and said the device had apparently been laid by the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), a splinter group of Nigeria's Boko Haram.

One of the fatalities was a commander in the gendarmerie, the Chadian military source said, adding that exchanges of gunfire broke out later Wednesday between troops and militants in Bakaram, in the same region.

Boko Haram's insurgency, launched in northeast Nigeria since 2009, has killed 35,000 people and displaced around two million from their homes.

The violence has spread to neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting the formation of a four-nation regional anti-jihad coalition of which the Chadian army is a key component.

In March, Chad's armed forces suffered their biggest single-day loss, when 98 soldiers were massacred in their base at Bohoma, on the banks of Lake Chad.(AFP/APP)