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

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.


France backs calls for EU sanctions on Turkey

Updated 19 September 2020

France backs calls for EU sanctions on Turkey

  • Cypriot officials insist the EU shouldn’t set a ‘double standard’ by imposing sanctions against Belarus for alleged voter fraud while avoiding doing so when Turkey carries on its exploration at the expense of EU members

JEDDAH: France on Friday backed Cyprus’ calls for the EU to consider imposing tougher sanctions on Turkey if the Turkish government won’t suspend its search for energy reserves in eastern Mediterranean waters where Cyprus and Greece claim exclusive economic rights.

French Minister for European Affairs Clement Beaune said sanctions should be among the options the 27-member bloc considers employing if Turkey continues to “endanger the security and sovereignty of a member state.”

“But we consider that the union should also be ready to use all the instruments at its disposal, among them one of sanctions, if the situation didn’t evolve positively,” Beaune said after talks with Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides in Nicosia.

A European Parliament resolution has called for sanctions against Turkey unless it showed “sincere cooperation and concrete progress” in defusing tensions with Greece and Cyprus.

Marc Pierini, a former EU ambassador to Turkey and now analyst at Carnegie Europe, said the resolution reflected the views of a democratically elected parliament from across the bloc. “This is not ‘country X against country Y,’ it is the aggregated view of the European Parliament,” he told Arab News.

EU leaders are set to hold a summit in a few days to discuss how to respond to Turkey prospecting in areas of the sea that Greece and Cyprus insist are only theirs to explore.

Turkey triggered a naval stand-off with NATO ally Greece after dispatching a warship-escorted research vessel in a part of the eastern Mediterranean that Greece says is over its continental shelf. Greece deployed its own warship and naval patrols in response.

Greek and Turkish military officers are also holding talks at NATO headquarters to work out ways of ensuring that any standoff at sea doesn’t descend into open conflict.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said Turkey’s withdrawal of its survey ship and warship escorts was a positive step, but that Greece needs to make sure Ankara is sincere.

He said a list of sanctions will be put before EU leaders at next week’s summit and whether they’ll be implemented will depend on Turkey’s actions. “I’m hoping that it won’t become necessary to reach that point,” Dendias said.

Cypriot officials insist the EU shouldn’t set a “double standard” by imposing sanctions against Belarus for alleged voter fraud and police brutality while avoiding doing so when Turkey carries on its exploration at the expense of EU members.

Meanwhile, the EU is set to announce sanctions on Monday against three companies from Turkey, Jordan and Kazakhstan which are accused of violating a UN arms embargo on Libya, diplomats told AFP.