Chad strikes Boko Haram in Nigeria, bans burqas

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Chad hits Boko Haram sites in Nigeria after attacks Monday in capital

Security forces ordered to burn all burqas found in markets

CNN  — 

The central African country of Chad conducted airstrikes against Boko Haram sites in neighboring Nigeria on Wednesday and announced it has banned burqas, the head-to-toe garment worn by some Muslim women, after twin bombings earlier this week by veiled attackers.

The Chad army and security forces hit Boko Haram bases and related sites, according to a government statement, destroying six bases and killing several militants.

Prime Minister Kalzeube Payimi Deubet announced the burqa ban Wednesday following a call with religious leaders, according to another statement from the government.

The move was at the direction of President Idriss Deby Itno, after as many as 23 people were killed Monday in the capital, N’Djamena, in two attacks – one at the National School of Police and the other targeting the Central Office of the Police, according to Chad’s communications ministry.

The four attackers were also killed, and more than 100 people were wounded, officials said.

Who’s to blame?

The government blamed the terror group Boko Haram for the bombings, but the militants have not claimed responsibility.

Some have speculated that the attacks Monday were retaliation for Chad’s participation in a regional force fighting against Boko Haram.

The group struck outside Nigeria again Wednesday, raiding two villages in Niger and killing at least 38 people, a local lawmaker said.

Burn the burqas

According to the Chadian news website Tchadinfos, security forces have been ordered to go through markets and burn all the burqas they find.

Chad is a majority Muslim country, but some may wear the burqa as protection from the sun and sand.

According to the government statement, Catholic church leaders, Muslim leaders and evangelical leaders were briefed on the ban and were asked to convey the new law to their respective congregations.

Boko Haram, which loosely translates to “Western education is sin” in the Hausa language, is classified as a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department. It has been brutal against civilians and authorities alike as it tries to impose its extreme version of Sharia law over an expansive territory.

Residents of Borno state, which borders Chad, and other parts of northeastern Nigeria know this all too well. For years they have dealt with Boko Haram assaults, bombings, abductions and mass kidnappings – the most infamous being the taking of more than 200 schoolgirls in the town of Chibok in 2014.

Chad and Niger have stepped up their efforts in recent months, going after the militant group in areas that border those nations.

CNN’s Christian Purefoy, Joseph Netto, Greg Botelho and Elwyn Lopez, as well as journalist Aminu Abubakar, contributed to this report.