N’DJAMENA, Dec 23 (Reuters) – Four militants detonated suicide bombs after being found out by a group of locals on a Lake Chad island, killing three of the attackers but no one else, official and security sources said on Wednesday.
The maze of islands and waterways on the shrinking shores of Lake Chad are a favourite hiding place for Islamist Boko Haram fighters who are mostly based in neighbouring Nigeria’s northeast but often cross into Chad, Niger and Cameroon.
The bombers were part of a group of seven male and female militants headed from Chad’s Yogo island to a weekly market in the lakeside town of Bol in a motorised canoe late on Tuesday, the sources said.
“They were intercepted by villagers who wanted to search them and they resisted,” said a local official who asked not to be named. “The three others managed to swim away,” he said, saying they first shed the explosives they were carrying.
Dozens of people were killed in multiple bombings in the nearby town of Baga Sola in October and the Lake Chad island of Koulfoua in December. Chad has since declared a state of emergency in the region.
In Cameroon’s Far North Region, several suspected Boko Haram fighters attacked three food trucks near the Chadian border on Wednesday, officials said. Cameroonian Special Forces (BIR) arrived shortly afterwards and there were no deaths or injuries.