Boko Haram in first attack in Chad
Suspected Boko Haram militants have staged their first attack in Chad, hitting the third country outside their home base of Nigeria in recent days as the region beefs up its military response to the armed extremist group.
The assault took place in the village of Ngouboua on the shore of Lake Chad, and left a community leader, one Chadian soldier and at least two militants dead, Chad's military said.
Boko Haram has threated any nation contributing to the fight against them. Chad is contributing the most military muscle to the effort, with its soldiers already attacking the insurgents in Cameroon and Nigeria.
"The assailants have scattered and the army is now pursuing them," Chad army Colonel Azem Bermandoa Agouna said.
Ngouboua is already home to nearly 3,300 refugees who had fled Boko Haram-related violence in Nigeria, according to the United Nations. The UN refugee agency said it had heard reports of the violence there and was investigating.
"Security is a major concern for all humanitarian agencies, and for the refugees themselves," the agency said at a briefing in Geneva.
Boko Haram's insurgency has forced 157,000 people to seek refuge in Niger, while 40,000 have gone to Cameroon and 17,000 are in Chad, the UN said. Almost a million Nigerians are internally displaced, according to the country's own statistics.
The United Nations special representative for West Africa said Nigeria's military needs to show "greater resolve" in the widening fight against the extremist group. "I think we all expect more from the Nigerian military," Mohammed Ibn Chambas said at the UN.
The multinational force to fight Boko Haram is expected to be formally launched in coming weeks.