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Beggars, Foreigners Targeted After Boko Haram Attack

Chad said weekend it planned to round up beggars and some foreigners as part of a security clamp-down, days after two suicide attacks on its capital blamed on Boko Haram Islamist militants from neighbouring Nigeria. The apparently coordinated blasts in two police offices on Monday killed 34 people and injured dozens in the largest attack of its kind in the Central African nation.

Chad’s Prime Minister Kalzeube Pahimi Deubet said the detained beggars and foreigners would be held in a centre in Baga Sola, a town near Lake Chad, close to the Nigerian border. He did not go into further detail on how the round-up would improve security or the nationality of the foreigners. Deubet also said that boating and fishing would be banned on parts of the River Chari that flows into the Lake Chad.

Boko Haram militants have launched several deadly attacks around the lake, often arriving in motorised canoes from Nigeria. For its part, Cameroon this week closed the Ngueli border bridge at Kousseri town that joins its Far North region with the southwestern outskirts of the Chadian capital, state radio in the area said. The bridge is a vital commercial route and businesses have suffered as a result of the closure decision taken in the wake of the suicide attack, the radio said. Chad has played a leading role in helping Nigerian forces win back territory from Boko Haram, which has fought for six years to carve out an Islamist caliphate in Nigeria’s northeast and attacked Niger and Cameroon.

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