The Chadian army says 71 soldiers from the Central African country’s units of government forces have been killed and 416 others injured during the two-and-a-half months of fighting with Nigeria-based Boko Haram Takfiri militants.
Chad’s army chief, General Brahim Seid, told reporters in the capital, N’Djamena, on Friday that the “valiant soldiers” had died since February 3 in the “just and noble cause of bringing peace and security” to the region.
The announcement comes a week after Boko Haram ambushed seven civilians on their way to a market in Tchoukou Telia near Lake Chad, which borders Chad, Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon.
Dimouya Souapebe, the deputy prefect of Baga Solan region, said some of the victims had their throats slit, while others had succumbed to fatal gunshot wounds.
On March 30, Kang Kyung-wha, the UN deputy humanitarian affairs chief, said Boko Haram militants have killed over 7,300 civilians in Nigeria and the neighboring countries since the beginning of 2014.
“Gross human rights violations, including sexual and gender-based violence and child trafficking, are frequently reported,” Kang said.
The South Korean UN official added that 1,000 people have been killed since the beginning of this year alone.
Kang further noted that in regions affected by the militant group, 300 schools have been damaged and only 40 percent of healthcare facilities are functional.
Nigeria’s President-elect Muhammadu Buhari has pledged to step up the fight against terror perpetrated by Boko Haram.
“I assure you that Boko Haram will soon know the strength of our collective will and commitment to rid this nation of terror and bring back peace,” Buhari said in his acceptance speech on April 1, after his victory in the recent presidential election.
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