Minister: Suicide bombers kill 23 in attacks on Chad capital

Author: Associated Press

N’DJAMENA, Chad (AP) – Suicide bombers on motorcycles simultaneously attacked two buildings including the national police academy in Chad’s capital on Monday, killing at least 23 people and wounding more than 100 others, witnesses said. It was the first assault of its kind since Islamic militants threatened the country earlier this year.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but suspicion quickly fell on Boko Haram, the Islamic militant group based in neighboring Nigeria that already has attacked Chadian villages along the lake dividing the two countries.

Chad has been a major military ally with Nigeria in the fight against the insurgent group. Boko Haram’s leader has publicly threatened the Chadian president with retaliation.

Information Minister Hassan Sylla Bakari called Monday’s violence “an appalling and barbaric attack.”

“These attacks aimed at striking fear in people’s hearts will not diminish Chad’s determination and commitment to fighting terrorism,” he said. “The government will relentlessly pursue the fight against criminals whose intention is to spread death and desolation in Chadian families.”

There were four attackers – two at each building, he added.

One of the bombers on a motorcycle blew himself up after security officers fired at him outside a building where the national police chief is based. The second explosion went off at the headquarters of the national police academy, witnesses said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a statement, condemned the bombings and praised Chad’s “courageous role” in fighting Boko Haram.

In Nigeria, Boko Haram was blamed for two suicide bombings Monday that killed at least 11 people in the northeastern town of Potiskum, according to self-defense fighter Adamu Isa and an AP count of bodies.

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