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Security clampdown in Chad capital after ‘Boko Haram’ attacks


boko haram 23Scores of police and soldiers patrolled Chad’s capital on Tuesday, a day after twin suicide bombings blamed on Boko Haram jihadists killed 24 people and wounded more than 100.

The areas around the presidential palace and police headquarters in N’Djamena — one of the targets of the bombers — were sealed off, checkpoints were set up across the city and vehicles with smoked glass windows banned from the roads, AFP journalists reported.

Chad has been on the frontline of the regional fight against the Nigerian Islamist group, but Monday’s attack marked the first of its kind in the capital of the central African country.

“These attacks, which aimed to strike fear into the people, will not slacken Chad’s determination to combat terrorism,” the government said, calling for the population to “keep its legendary serenity because the situation is entirely under control.”

It said four “terrorists” were also killed in the blasts, but did not give details.

Although Boko Haram has yet to claim responsibility for the suicide bombings, which also targeted a police academy, both Chad France accused the militants of being behind the “barbaric attack”.

“There is no doubt that Boko Haram is responsible and will be brought to justice for this new humanitarian horror,” French President Francois Hollande said during a visit to Algiers, where the regional threat posed by jihadists was high on the agenda.

Chad, a former French colony, is a close ally of France in its counter-terrorism Operation Barkhane in the Sahel region. The French army has set up its headquarters for the campaign in N’Djamena.

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