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Chad: 10 Soldiers Killed 20 Wounded In Mine Blast As Kidnappers Demand 28 Million FCFA For Hostages

Against the background of the killing of at least 10 Chadian soldiers in a mine blast on Wednesday, gunmen who abducted three men in Western Mayo Kebbi on Tuesday are demanding for a ransom of 28 million FCFA (about 56,000 dollars) for their release.

The soldiers were killed when the military vehicle in which they were travelling hit a land mine in Kalam village, Lake Province, HumAngle earlier reported.

Altough the Chadian military is yet to make a statement about the incident, eye witnesses in the village situated a few kilometres to the border with Nigeria, reveal that at least 20 other soldiers were wounded in the blast.

It is not yet known exactly who placed the mine on the path of the Chadian soldiers but military sources say it is certainly the work of Boko Haram terrorists or members of one of the armed militias opposing the government of President Idris Deby Itno.

Meanwhile, the kidnappers say unless their demand is met, they will kill their victims.

The men were abducted on Tuesday night (July 7, 2020) in the village of Boloro, Lac-Lere Division by heavily armed individuals suspected to be members of one of several rebel groups or terrorist gangs who roam the neighbourhoods and desert areas of the country.

The victims are Idriss Amadou, a 39-year-old father of eight, Alim Hawa, 38 years old father of two and 45-year-old Moussa Ousmane, married to two wives and father of 17 children.

According to security forces, the abductors ferried their hostages across the border to Cameroon from where they have maintained contacts using a Nextel telephone company number which they left with family members of the hostages before crossing over.

Family members informed security operatives that the kidnappers numbered four, with three carrying sophisticated weapons.

The village vigilante group has been helping security forces in the hunt for the abductors and it is hoped that sooner or later, the criminals would be tracked down.

“Kidnappings, rape and armed robbery are the stock in trade of most of the armed groups operating around here, some of which claim to be fighters in the name of Islam.

“But Islam is a religion of peace, so how can purported moslems be visiting such pain on their own brothers and sisters?” asked Hamidou Ousman, a cattle merchant in Amchide, Far North Region of Cameroon.

“Those people are bandits and their actions have nothing to do with Islam. Let them stop dragging the name of Islam in the mire,” chipped in Ousman’s friend standing nearby.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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