Chadian officials have reported that at least 10 soldiers were killed during the course of an operation against a Boko Haram base in the Lac region on Thursday, September 17. The soldiers were reportedly killed during the course of an ambush by militants, with a further seven soldiers injured during the clashes. Officials stated that the operation continued despite the ambush, and resulted in the destruction of the base and the seizing of arms and ammunition.
Further clashes in the Lac region are likely as operations against Boko Haram continue. Retaliatory attacks throughout Chad are possible in the near term.
The Chadian army commenced an operation against Boko Haram militants in the Lake Chad region on March 31, 2020, with a spokesman reporting that all objectives had been accomplished on Wednesday, September 16. While a spokesman reported that the majority of Boko Haram militants had been chased from Chadian soil and into Niger and Nigeria, Thursday's ambush casts doubt on the veracity of that statement.
Although regional counterinsurgency efforts targeting Boko Haram - led by West African states Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, and Niger - have greatly diminished the group's territorial control since 2015, its members continue to routinely carry out deadly terrorist attacks. Boko Haram's stronghold is in northeastern Nigeria, where the majority of its activities are concentrated.
Individuals in Chad, especially in the Lake Chad area, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant for militant activity, limit time in areas deemed likely to be targeted in a terrorist attack (e.g. crowded markets, etc.), and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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