Suspected Boko Haram suicide bomb attack kills 38 in Chad

ABIDJAN (REUTERS, AFP) - Thirty-eight people, including five attackers, were killed and another 51 were wounded on Saturday in a series of suicide bombings in a town in Chad suspected to be the work of Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamist militant group, a local government official said.

Witnesses in Baga Sola, a border town on Lake Chad, reported three explosions in the town's market and a refugee camp.

A hospital source confirmed the death toll given by local sub-prefect Dimoya Souapebe.

Lake Chad is shared between Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad.

Climate change has reduced its surface in recent years, but it contains many islands and islets used by fishermen and its banks have dense vegetation, which makes infiltrations by Boko Haram Islamists into Chad much easier.

The Chadian army has since the start of this year been involved in a regional offensive against Boko Haram, whose attacks have spread across Nigeria's borders to neighbouring countries.

At least 17,000 people have been killed, mainly in Nigeria, and more than 2.5 million made homeless since the Boko Haram insurgency began in 2009.