File photo: Boko Haram
It has been reported that the deadly Boko Haram jihadists have kidnapped a hospital’s head doctor, a nurse and their driver in western Chad.
The sad development was made known by civilian and military sources on Thursday.
According to the Agence France Presse, sources say this was the first abduction targeting medical personnel in the region, where Boko Haram has raided many villages, kidnapping mainly women.
The medical team was headed to the town of Tchoukouliya on the northern shore of Lake Chad, a Boko Haram stronghold, when they were snatched on Wednesday, local governor Nouki Charfadine told AFP.
“The kidnappers took them away on a motorised canoe on the lake,” Charfadine said.
Boko Haram has training camps on several of the islands that dot the vast, shallow lake, which straddles the borders of Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon as well as Chad.
A high-ranking military official said on condition of anonymity that the three staff from the hospital in Bagassoula, all Chadians, had not notified authorities of their itinerary.
“They were intercepted by Boko Haram elements, and local people alerted us after spotting their abandoned car with all four doors open,” the source said, adding that the army had launched a search for the victims.
Top military and government officials also pointed the finger at Boko Haram.
The jihadist insurgency, which broke out in northeastern Nigeria a decade ago, has spilt over into neighbouring countries.