Nine civilians died in western Chad after a female suicide bomber detonated explosives in an area targeted in the past by the Boko Haram armed group, officials said on Monday.
Chad is one of the countries struggling with attacks that have spilled over from Nigeria’s decades-long rebel violence.
The attack took place overnight on Sunday in the village of Kaiga-Kindjiria.
“A suicide bomber blew herself up yesterday in Kaiga-Kindjiria killing nine people, two women and seven men,” an army source said.
The death toll was confirmed by Chadian army spokesman Colonel Azem Bermandoa. “It is Boko Haram, there is no doubt,” he said.
Kaiga-Kindjiria, a village of about 7,000 people, is located near the vast Lake Chad region where fighters hide out among islets and marshlands to launch attacks on Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria and Niger.
In August, a suicide bomber killed five civilians and a soldier in the same village.
Assailants also killed four Chadian villagers and kidnapped four women near Lake Chad earlier this month.
Boko Haram began in Nigeria but its attacks have spread to neighbouring countries. A faction affiliated with the ISIL (ISIS) armed group, ISWAP, is particularly active around Lake Chad.
The suicide attack in western Chad came as French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly visited the capital Ndjamena, where she met her Chadian counterpart on Monday.
Countries in the region have banded together to fight Boko Haram and ISWAP with support from civilian defence committees.
In early January, 1,200 Chadian troops deployed as part of the regional force in Nigeria, returned to Chad to be redeployed around the lake, where attacks have multiplied in recent months.
The conflict in northeast Nigeria has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced about two million from their homes.
The rebels have splintered into rival factions with one group loyal to long-time Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau and the other pledging allegiance to ISIL.