By Rafiu Ajakaye
LAGOS, Nigeria (AA) - No fewer than 30 Chadian and Nigerian soldiers were killed in separate Boko Haram attacks since late Thursday, according to military officials.
“Between 20 and 24 Chadian soldiers working with the Multinational Joint Task Force died in an attack in Dangdala general area early today,” an army official based in Baga, operational headquarters of the regional force, told Anadolu Agency.
“Similarly, we lost 10 Nigerian soldiers in Ngazai close to Monguno (Borno) late Thursday while six others died in another ambush around Kangarwa, also in Borno,” he added.
At least two other sources at the Nigerian defense headquarters have confirmed the incidents to Anadolu Agency, asking not to be named because the families of the soldiers were not informed about their losses yet.
Neither the regional army nor the Boko Haram spoke on the attack, yet, although the latter tweeted a photo of its “effective” use of improvised rocket launcher to attack some Nigerien and Nigerian air assets in the Diffa region of Niger.
It is not clear what impacts the attacks had on the air assets with which the Nigerian troops have killed hundreds of militants in the past weeks in the Lake Chad region.
Despite army's consistent operations against Boko Haram, analysts insist the group remains an existential threat in the region -- notwithstanding the internal crisis within the group.
Meanwhile, Turkey condemned the attack in Chad on Friday.
"We strongly condemn this heinous attack and offer our condolences to the brotherly people and Government of Chad and wish Allah’s mercy upon those who lost their lives," Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
* Fatih Hafiz Mehmet contributed to this story from Ankara