Triple suicide blast on Lake Chad island; 30 dead, 80 injured

Three suicide bombers attacked the island of Koulfoua on the Chadian side of Lake Chad on Saturday, killing around 30 people and injuring 80, two security sources told Reuters.

The sources said the attacks coincided with market day.

Earlier this year, thousands of people fleeing Islamist militant group Boko Haram sought refuge on the island although it was not immediately clear if they were still based there.

Police in Chad said the bombers were all women. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the blasts but officials suspect the attacks were carried out by members of the Boko Haram armed group from neighoubouring Nigeria.

General Banyaman Cossingar, Chad gendarmerie director general, confirmed the attack, saying Boko Haram is suspected, the AP news agency reported.

State of emergency

Chad’s government instituted a state of emergency in the Lake Chad region last month, saying the area had become a gathering point for Boko Haram fighters.

More than 5,000 soldiers have been deployed on islands and lakeside villages there.

Earlier this year, thousands of people fleeing Boko Haram sought refuge on the island although it was not immediately clear if they were still based there.

Boko Haram, which has led a six-year armed campaign in Nigeria, has stepped up attacks this year in Chad, Niger and Cameroon after those countries agreed to fight the armed group..

More details awaited