N’DJAMENA (Reuters) - Two suicide bombers believed to belong to Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram blew themselves up outside a Chadian army camp on Wednesday, but failed to inflict any other casualties, security sources said.
An officer at the Kaiga Ngouboua base in the Lake Chad region said the two bombers tried to get into the camp, but were pushed back by a guard and so blew themselves up at the entrance. No one except the bombers was killed, he said.
The bombing took place as 10 people, including the accused leader of Boko Haram in Chad and northern Cameroon, went on trial in the Chadian capital, N’Djamena, accused of involvement in deadly attacks in the city in both June and July. There was no evidence the two events were connected.
The campaign to crush Boko Haram has spread into Niger, Cameroon and Chad as well as Nigeria. The neighbouring countries have seen cross-border raids by the militants.
N’Djamena will host the command centre of a 8,700-strong multinational force to fight Boko Haram.
President Idriss Deby has said that Boko Haram, whose stronghold in northeastern Nigeria lies less than 100 km (60 miles) from N’Djamena, can be defeated by the end of the year.
In a further example of the violence, at least two people died in a suspected Boko Haram raid overnight on Tuesday in Niger, security sources said. The village of Abadam was the scene of a raid by unidentified planes in February in which at least 35 died.
The 10 people on trial were charged under terrorism laws with conspiracy, using explosives and drug trafficking, state prosecutor Laoumpambe Mahouli Bruno said.
They include Mahamat Moustapha, alias Bana Fanaye, the alleged chief of Boko Haram in Chad and northern Cameroon. Moustapha, 30, and born in northern Cameroon, was arrested in late June.
“I shoulder responsibility for my actions. I bought weapons and munitions and send them to Nigeria to Boko Haram. I am a soldier for my religion. I signed a pact with God. One day Jihad will come,” he told the court.
Additional reporting by Abdoulaye Massalaki in Niamey, writing by Emma Farge and Matthew Mpoke Bigg, editing by G Crosse