Boko Haram has targeted a Chadian army base located on an island and inflicted the deadliest attack on Chad’s military forces yet.

At 05:00 on Saturday, the terrorist group attacked the isolated Chadian base. The base is located across the Bohoma peninsula in Lac Province amid the large, marshy area bordering Lake Chad. The seven-hour firefight left 98 Chadian soldiers dead, 47 wounded, and the morale of the army reeling.

“Bohoma will remain as a scar for the army,” said an anonymous Chadian officer. Boko Haram has been increasing its attacks around the borders of Chad, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Niger.

The jihadists, using their knowledge of the marshy areas and small islands in the region, were known to be conducting smaller raids and suicide attacks. But this one was a large coordinated assault. At least 24 vehicles, including armored ones, were destroyed in the assault and captured arms and equipment were taken by boat across Lake Chad.

The Chadian army had drawn down the strength of the army unit in the peninsula, something the Boko Haram terrorists undoubtedly knew about.

Chad had promised to send a battalion of 480 men to help fight the jihadists operating in the Sahel.

In response, the Chadian government has declared a state of emergency in the two departments that border Niger and Nigeria. This emergency decree will allow local and miliary officials to prohibit traffic and to search homes for terror suspects. President Deby vowed a “lightning response” to the attack.

President Idriss Deby said in a statement on Chadi television that he traveled to the base to pay tribute to the dead soldiers, stating it was the first time so many troops had been lost. The president mentioned that 92 soldiers were killed, but other reports put that number at 98.