Suicide bombings hit Chad's capital, kill 11, witnesses say

AP News
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Posted: Jun 29, 2015 11:16 AM

N'DJAMENA, Chad (AP) — Two suicide bombings rocked Chad's capital, killing at least 11 people weeks after suicide bombings killed dozens, an official said Monday.

Five police officers were among the 11 dead, said Chad's Minister of Public Security, Abderahim Bireme Hamid. He blamed extremists for the attack, saying that "the mastermind of the network was arrested yesterday."

The other six killed were extremists, he said.

"This is a result of the search this morning. When five members of Boko Haram saw police arrest a member, they set off the explosives," Bireme Hamid said on national radio. Three others were injured in the blasts, he said.

The first explosion was heard early Monday in the Dinguessou neighborhood of N'Djamena, and the second came minutes later, said resident Souleymane Brahim.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack but suspicion fell on Boko Haram, the Islamic militant group based in neighboring Nigeria that has already attacked Chadian villages along the lake dividing the two countries.

Boko Haram this year became the West African franchise of the Islamic State group, which has called for more attacks during the holy month of Ramadan.

The blasts come weeks after a double suicide bombing in the capital that killed at least 38 people and wounded more than 100 others. The June 15 attack was the first of its kind in N'Djamena and came after threats from Nigeria's Islamic extremist group Boko Haram.

The June 15 blasts led to the arrests of 60 people from Chad, Cameroon, Mali and Nigeria, Chad's prosecutor announced on Sunday. Alghassim Khamis said an active cell was dismantled, leading to the seizure of "communication materials" and the arrests.

Chad has been a major military ally with Nigeria in the fight against Boko Haram, which has publicly threatened the Chadian president with retaliation.