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Suicide Bomber in Burqa Kills 15 People in Chad
by Rebecca Bynum

Business Day:

N’DJAMENA — A man dressed in a woman’s burqa blew himself up in the main market in Chad’s capital N’Djamena early on Saturday, killing 15 people and injuring 80, a police spokesman said.

No group immediately claimed responsibility but Chad has blamed Boko Haram, the Islamist militant group based in neighbouring Nigeria, for a series of bombings and shootings in recent weeks. Chad has been at the forefront of a regional military campaign against the group.

Police spokesman Paul Manga said 16 people including the bomber had died. Separately, police sources reported a second explosion about 30 kilometres north of N’Djamena that killed one person.

A Reuters witness saw at least 10 bodies covered in blankets lying near the southern entrance to the market place next to overturned cartons and scattered vegetables. Security forces cordoned off the area to stop people entering and searched stalls for more explosives.

Several witnesses said the bomber had tried to enter the market wearing a woman’s burqa. Chad authorities banned the head-to-toe religious garment last month, citing the risk that attackers could use it as a disguise or hide explosives underneath.

“The suicide bomber was a man disguised as a woman (in a burqa). He tried to enter the market when he was intercepted by police,” Mr Manga said. “That is when he detonated the bomb.” Residents said the explosion happened at around 8.30am local time (7.30am GMT), during a busy period before the midday heat.