Dany Padire, ASSOCIATED PRESS
N’DJAMENA, Chad (AP) — Suicide bombers on motorcycles simultaneously attacked two buildings including the national police academy in Chad’s capital on Monday, killing at least 23 people and wounding more than 100 others in the first assault of its kind since Islamic militants threatened the country earlier this year, witnesses said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but suspicion quickly fell on Boko Haram, the group based in neighboring Nigeria that already has attacked Chadian villages along the lake that divides the two countries.
Chad has been a major military ally in the fight against the insurgent group, and Boko Haram’s leader has publicly threatened the Chadian president in retaliation.
Information Minister Hassan Sylla Bakari called Monday’s violence “an appalling and barbaric attack.”
“These attacks aimed at striking fear in people’s hearts will not diminish Chad’s determination and commitment to fighting terrorism,” he said. “The government will relentlessly pursue the fight against criminals whose intention is to spread death and desolation in Chadian families.”
here were a total of four attackers — two at each building, he added.
One of the suicide bombers on a motorcycle blew himself up after security officers fired at him outside a government building where the head of the national police is based.
The second explosion went off at the headquarters of the national police academy in the capital, witnesses said.
Boko Haram’s leader in February taunted the Chadian president after he contributed forces to the regional effort to quash the extremist group.
In Nigeria, Boko Haram was blamed for two suicide bombings that killed at least 11 people in the northeastern town of Potiskum on Monday, according to self-defense fighter Adamu Isa and an AP reporter’s count of bodies at the local mortuary.
Associated Press writer Adamu Adamu in Damaturu, Nigeria contributed to this report.
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