18 killed in Boko Haram attack in Chad: military source

Soldiers and police forces stand guard at a market in N'Djamena following a suicide bomb attack. (File photo: AFP)
Updated 22 July 2018
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18 killed in Boko Haram attack in Chad: military source

  • 18 people killed in an attack by Boko Haram in the Lake Chad region
  • Chad, Cameroon and Niger have all joined the military effort by Nigeria to crush Boko Haram

N’DJAMENA: Eighteen people have been killed in an attack by suspected Boko Haram militants in the Lake Chad region, a Chadian military source said Sunday.
“Boko Haram elements attacked a village south of Daboua,” not far from Chad’s border with Niger, at around 9:00 p.m. (2000 GMT) on Thursday, the military source said.
The assailants “cut the throats of 18 people, wounded two others and kidnapped 10 women.”
Boko Haram’s militant insurgency has devastated the region since it took up arms in 2009 in Nigeria, leaving at least 20,000 people dead, displacing more than two million others and triggering a humanitarian crisis.
Chad, Cameroon and Niger have all joined the military effort by Nigeria to crush Boko Haram. Chad has seen a recent increase in attacks by the group.
In May, six people were killed, including four government officials and a soldier, in a Boko Haram attack on a Chadian army checkpoint on an island in Lake Chad.
Niger’s army said Saturday it killed “10 terrorists” after one of its military positions in the southwest of the country was attacked by Boko Haram.
Meanwhile in northeast Nigeria, the military said troops killed “scores” of Boko Haram fighters in Yobe state on Saturday afternoon.
Army spokesman Col. Onyema Nwachukwu said the militants had been intending to attack and loot the market in the town of Babangida when they ambushed troops.
“Sadly, while fighting through the ambush, the troops recorded some casualties,” he added, without specifying numbers.
Babangida is near the Geidam area where on July 14 fighters thought to belong to the Boko Haram faction led by Abu Mus’ab Al-Barnawi overran a military base housing hundreds of troops.
Al-Barnawi is backed by Daesh.
Scores of troops were feared dead in the attack in the village of Jilli but the military has said no soldier lost his life.
Twenty-four hours earlier, Nigerian troops were ambushed in the Bama area of Borno state. Both attacks have raised questions about claims that the militants are virtually defeated.
Taken with the attacks in Chad and Niger, there will be fears about a renewed campaign in the Lake Chad region and the strength of the IS-backed Boko Haram faction.
The self-styled Daesh West Africa Province has previously attacked “hard” military and government targets.
It has distanced itself from long-time leader Abubakar Shekau, whose supporters have been behind indiscriminate violence toward civilians, particularly using suicide bombers.


More than a million people in India flood relief camps

Updated 32 min ago
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More than a million people in India flood relief camps

  • About 50,000 homes have been destroyed, according to one Kerala legislator
  • Millions of dollars in donations have poured into Kerala from the rest of India and abroad

CHENGANNUR, India: More than one million people have packed relief camps to escape devastating monsoon floods that have killed more than 410 people in India’s southwestern state of Kerala, officials said Tuesday.
About 50,000 homes have been destroyed, according to one Kerala legislator, and people are flocking to the camps as the scale of the desolation is revealed by receding waters.
A total of 1,028,000 people were now recorded in about 3,200 relief camps across the state, a state government spokesman said.
Six more bodies were found Monday, he added, taking the toll to more than 410 since the monsoon started in June.
At Chengannur, one of the worst-hit towns, more than 60 centimeters (two feet) of water still blocked many roads as more rain fell Tuesday.
Army teams said several thousand people in the town remained in homes inundated by 10 days of torrential downpours that have battered the state.
Rescue teams in Chengannur on Tuesday finally reached the house of retired army officer K.G. Pillai, who said up to 2.4 meters (eight feet) of water had engulfed the house where his family had lived since 1952.
“In the past there has never been more than one foot of floods and people are not used to this,” he said.
Many roads and homes around Pillai’s house remained inaccessible.
“Around 26 people moved into the first floor of our home” to take refuge from the floods, he said.
A senior army officer involved in the rescue operation in Chengannur said authorities believed most of the people left in town did not want to be evacuated and were instead seeking food and water.
“We received a distress call late yesterday to rescue a disabled child and will be going in today on boats to check if there are others who need assistance,” he said.
Thousands of army, navy and air force personnel have fanned out across the state to help those stranded in remote and hilly areas.
Dozens of helicopters and even drones have been dropping food, medicine and water to cut-off villages.
Tens of thousands of people in Chengannur and surrounding towns and villages are relying on community kitchens for meals, after water from hilly districts in Kerala’s north poured down into lowland regions.
“People have lost all or most of their belongings in the last few days,” the officer said.
Shashi Tharoor, a deputy from Kerala and former UN official, estimated that 50,000 houses had been destroyed. He said he would seek possible UN assistance in relief efforts during a trip to Geneva this week.
Millions of dollars in donations have poured into the state from the rest of India and abroad since the extent of the devastation became known.
Supreme Court judges have donated $360 each while the British-based Sikh group Khalsa Aid International has set up its own relief camp in Kochi, Kerala’s main city, to provide 3,000 meals a day.