World News

Two soldiers, 11 suspected Boko Haram fighters killed in Chad attacks

N’DJAMENA (Reuters) - At least two soldiers and 11 militants were killed on Sunday in suspected Boko Haram attacks on two remote military posts in the Lake Chad area, Chad’s government and military sources said.

Chad is at the forefront of a regional effort to counter the Islamist militant group which controls small enclaves in remote parts of neighboring Nigeria’s northeast from where it launches cross-border raids.

“Two communities were attacked at dawn,” said a government statement sent to journalists, referring to isolated villages near the lake where Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon meet.

Three would-be suicide bombers were shot by soldiers as they approached a military base in the village of Bamou, although one militant was still able to detonate an explosive device, the statement said.

At least 11 civilians were wounded at Bamou, the government said.

Boko Haram began attacking the remote, predominantly Muslim communities around the lake when the army began reinforcing its presence there at the end of last year.

Militants also struck another army post at dawn outside the village of Kaiga Kinguirya in the same region, security sources said.

A long-awaited 8,700-strong regional task force is set to begin joint raids on its remaining strongholds when the rainy season ends soon, a top U.N. official said this week.