Chad Extends State of Emergency in Boko Haram-Hit Western Area

Chadian lawmakers extended a state of emergency in the western Lake Chad region following attacks by Boko Haram militants from Nigeria.

The state of emergency was initially imposed on Nov. 9 after twin suicide bombings by suspected Boko Haram militants left at least five people dead. Legislators on Thursday voted to extend that period by four months to March 22, according local radio reports. The declaration gives power to the government to restrict the movement of people and vehicles, conduct searches of homes and businesses and confiscate weapons.

Boko Haram has stepped up cross-border attacks this year, targeting Chad, Niger and Cameroon. The countries have reacted by forming a regional force to try and eliminate the fighters. The rebels’ home ground is northeastern Nigeria, where they have killed thousands of people in a six-year campaign to establish its version of Islamic law.

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