IS-allied militants execute Chadian soldier

The militants rejected the president’s claim that they had been eradicated from the region. (AFP pic)

N’DJAMENA: Islamic State-aligned militants have executed a Chadian soldier and rejected President Idriss Deby Itno’s claim that they had been eradicated from the volatile Lake Chad region, officials said Monday.

A video, authenticated by Chadian officials, showed a member of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) shooting a kneeling soldier in the head.

The victim was in Chadian military uniform. The killer dismissed Deby’s statement that militants had been routed from the Lake Chad region that encompasses Nigeria, Niger and Chad.

The dead soldier, the video said, was seized in an ambush at Litri on April 18 in which two Chadian soldiers had died.

Two senior Chadian military officers confirmed to AFP that the man shown in the video was one of the soldiers missing after the attack.

ISWAP, which split from the Boko Haram militants group in 2016, has focused on targeting military installations and troops since mid-2018.

However there has recently been an increase in attacks on civilians blamed on ISWAP.

Boko Haram’s militant conflict in northeast Nigeria since 2009 has killed 35,000 people and displaced around two million from their homes.

The violence has spread to neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting the formation of a regional military coalition to fight the Islamists.

On March 23, 98 Chadian soldiers were massacred in an attack on their base at Bohoma on the banks of Lake Chad.

Deby then ordered a massive offensive against the group from March 31 to April 3, and then said there was “not a single jihadist left” in the Lake Chad region. N’Djamena claimed a thousand “terrorists” had been killed in the crackdown.