Chad shuts border with Libya, deploys troops to prevent influx of militant fighters

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Chad has shut its border with Libya, and will deploy troops to the area in an effort to prevent the influx of militant fighters fleeing conflict in its war-torn northern neighbor.

Libya has been in a state of lawlessness since the 2011 ouster of long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi.

With various militant groups fighting against each other, Islamist terror groups took advantage and flooded the North African country.

Although the Islamic State has now been ousted from its former stronghold of Sirte, the country’s U.N.-backed government has largely failed to retain control.

Chad, worried that fighters will flee south across the border, said on Thursday it would take immediate action.

“Some isolated … groups have converged towards the south of Libya, that is to say on the northern border of our country, which is potentially exposed to a serious threat of … infiltration,” Chad’s Prime Minister Albert Pahimi Padacke said in a statement, declaring the border region a “zone of military operation.”

Chad’s army is one of the strongest in the region, and has played a key role in the fight against Boko Haram, – an Islamic State affiliate group – in neighbouring Nigeria.

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