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  • 8 Chad soldiers killed in clashes with Boko Haram
  • Eight Chadian soldiers were killed in fierce
    fighting with Boko Haram insurgents at the
    weekend on islands on Lake Chad, the army said
    Monday.
    “Our forces attacked Boko Haram elements on
    five islands near Nigeria on June 24 and 25,”
    said Chad army spokesman Colonel Azem,
    indicating eight soldiers had died and another
    18 were wounded.
    He also claimed troops had killed 162 jihadists
    from the Nigeria-based group, and destroyed six
    vehicles along with many of the motorcycles
    often favoured by Boko Haram fighters in their
    raids.
    Chad is part of a five-nation regional force —
    also comprising Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and
    Benin — fighting Boko Haram, which is blamed
    for killing at least 20,000 people and leaving
    another 2.6 million homeless.
    Chad’s President Idriss Deby threatened on
    Sunday to pull the country’s troops out of
    peacekeeping operations in Africa because of a
    lack of foreign financial support.
    Chad has contributed the third-largest
    contingent to MINUSMA, the UN peacekeeping
    mission deployed in Mali in response to Islamist
    insurgency, with 1,390 soldiers.
    Deby indicated that N’Djamena lacks help to
    pay for its 2,000 men in the Joint Task Force
    battling Boko Haram, which emerged in
    northeastern Nigeria in 2009 and has in recent
    years attacked across borders.
    “We have not at all been supported on the
    financial, economic side,” he said in an interview
    with several French media.
    “If nothing is done, if that goes on, Chad will be
    obliged to withdraw,” he added. “We can’t keep
    being everywhere — in Niger, in Cameroon and
    in Mali. All that is excessively expensive.”
    Chad’s army is one of the most battle-hardened
    in the region, but the country faces a major
    economic crisis made worse by low oil prices,
    its main source of revenue.
    There have been frequent clashes on the many
    small islands of Lake Chad since the Boko
    Haram conflict began in 2009. The lake borders
    four countries on the edge of the Sahara: Chad,
    Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria.

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