Suspected Boko Haram militants launched their first attack inside Chad on Friday, killing at least five people, army officials said, according to media reports. A security source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, reportedly said that nearly 30 Islamist militants attacked the village of Ngouboua in the early hours and torched several houses.
Chadian authorities said that the attackers arrived in three canoes from northeastern Nigeria, travelling across Lake Chad, which borders Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger. Although some reports claimed that at least 10 civilians were killed in the attack, the exact number of casualties is yet to be confirmed, a senior Chadian army official reportedly said.
"The assailants have scattered and the army is now pursuing them," Col. Azem Bermandoa of the Chadian army told The Associated Press.
Chad is part of a regional coalition, along with Niger, Cameroon and Benin, which is carrying out a military offensive against one of the world's most violent Islamist extremist groups. Nigeria’s neighboring countries had agreed to deploy over 8,700 troops to fight the militant group last week.
Meanwhile, security sources also said that a suspected local head of Boko Haram, identified as Kaka Bonou, was arrested in Niger on Thursday near the town southern town of Diffa. "Different type of weapons of all calibre including rocket launchers, were found in his house," a Niger military source told Reuters.