Ninety-two Chadian soldiers have been killed in the deadliest attack ever by Boko Haram jihadists on armed forces in the country, President Idriss Déby Itno said on Tuesday.
The attack is part of an expanding jihadist campaign in the vast, marshy Lake Chad area, where the borders of Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria converge.
Boko Haram launched an insurgency in Nigeria in 2009 before beginning incursions in its neighbouring countries to the east. It has killed 36,000 people and displaced nearly two million in north-eastern Nigeria since it began, according to the UN.
“We lost 92 of our soldiers, non-commissioned officers and officers,” in the attack overnight on Sunday in Boma, the president said.
The attack on soldiers on the Boma peninsula lasted at least seven hours, and reinforcements sent to help out were also targeted, one soldier told AFP.
He said 24 army vehicles were destroyed, including armoured vehicles, and captured military arms were carried off in speedboats by Boko Haram.