By Dan Wooding, Founder of the ASSIST News Service
N’DJAMENA, CHAD (ANS – August 29, 2015) — Ten members of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram have been executed by firing squad in Chad.
According to the BBC, it comes a day after they were found guilty of terror charges at a trial in the capital N’Djamena.
The BBC is reporting that security sources said they were shot at a firing range north of the capital.
All 10 were convicted over their roles in twin attacks on the capital in June, which killed at least 38. A month after the attack, Chad reintroduced the death penalty for acts of terror.
“They were shot this morning at the Massaguet firing range,” a source told Reuters news agency, referring to a city about 60km (40 miles) north-east of N’Djamena.
Among those to die was Mahamat Mustapha, aka Bana Fanaye, who had been described as the “mastermind” of June’s attacks.
“A school and a police building in the capital were targeted by suicide bombers on motorcycles, leaving more than 100 people injured in addition to the dead,” said the BBC.
“Those attacks were followed by a blast at a market in the capital in July, which killed 15 people.”
The attacks were the first by the Nigerian-based group in Chad, which hosts the headquarters of a regional force set up to fight the militants.
The 10 were found guilty of charges including criminal conspiracy, killings, willful destruction with explosives, fraud, illegal possessions of arms and ammunition, and using psychotropic substances, according to chief prosecutor Bruno Mahouli Louapambe, quoted in AFP news agency.
“Chad has been instrumental in helping Nigeria retake most of the areas Boko Haram had seized,” continued the BBC.
The jihadists, who want to create their own Islamic caliphate in Nigeria, have killed thousands and forced millions to flee their homes in the country’s north-east Nigeria since 2009.
The militant group had previously threatened to attack Chad, after it sent troops to help Nigeria recapture territory from them, mostly in Borno state.
“Following the bombings, Chad banned people from wearing the full-face veil,” added the BBC. “But its attempts to crack down on terrorism have attracted criticism from opposition and civil liberties groups who fear it could be used to curb civil rights.”
Boko Haram at a glance (Supplied by the BBC)
* Founded in 2002, initially focused on opposing Western-style education – Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language
* Launched military operations in 2009
* Thousands killed, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria, abducted hundreds, including at least 200 schoolgirls
* Joined Islamic State, now calls itself “West African province”
* Seized large area in north-east, where it declared caliphate
* Regional force has retaken most territory this year
Photo captions: 1) Boko Haram fighters going into action. 2) Mahamat Mustapha was accused of being a high-ranking member of Boko Haram. 3) Dan Wooding.
About the writer: Dan Wooding, 74, is an award-winning author, broadcaster and journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, and is now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for more than 52 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. Dan is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS). He is also the author of some 45 books.
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