Two civilians were reported killed in an alleged Chadian helicopter strike on an illegal gold mine in Kouri Bougoudi at the Libyan-Chadian border.
Reuters wrote: “Chadian army helicopters killed two civilians in bombing runs over a gold mining town along the Libyan border, where government forces have clashed with a fledgeling rebel movement, a family member of the victims and an intelligence official said.
Two helicopters attacked the town of Kouri Bougoudi on Thursday and the two men died from their wounds on Friday, the family member, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters. Two other civilians were wounded in the attacks, the person said.
An intelligence source, also speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that two civilians were killed in the raids.
Chad’s army spokesman declined to comment.”
Tchad Today named the victims as Galmai Dirdemi and Hassan Kelle Lony.
Al Wihda Info provided more details on the attack: “Last Thursday, the day of the bombing, the helicopters flew low over two camps suspected of harbouring gold miners. The bombing was remotely controlled thanks to the GPS position of the target. For a few minutes, the helicopters dropped bombs and fired a 17-gauge weapon. The aim was to neutralize the individuals in these two camps, according to concordant sources.”
It further reported that “gold miners on the scene accuse the air force of having used in this helicopter firing cluster bombs and submunitions against the two camps, to neutralize their target. This former rebel officer was wounded in the bombing but his life is no longer engaged, said his family to Al Wihda Info.”
218 TV also reported on the strike but didn’t name the belligerent or mention civilian harm.
As the illegal gold mines are exactly placed along the border it is contested among the sources whether the strike took place in Libya or Chad. Le Monde Afrique said it was in “the extreme north” of Chad, while a map of gold mines published by ag on Twitter puts the location of Kouri Boudgoudi on the Libyan side of the border. Arnaud Delalande also reported airstrikes on Kilinje which is deeper inside Libyan territory and used by Chadian rebels to illegaly source gold.
The local time of the incident is unknown.