At least 24 Chadian soldiers were killed when Boko Haram terrorists attacked a military position overnight in the Lake Chad region, the country's army confirmed on Thursday.
The attack occurred against the army's position in the Tchoukoutalia area of Lac province, army spokesman Gen. Azem Bermandoa Agouna told reporters in the capital, N'Djamena.
The soldiers were returning from a routine patrol operation when they were attacked, said Agouna, who added that several military personnel were missing and that the army launched a counter-offensive with troops from a multinational force.
Boko Haram regularly launches targeted attacks in Lac. The last attack occurred on April 27.
The latest attack is reportedly the largest suffered by the army since the death last April of then-President Idriss Deby Itno, who had ruled the country for 30 years.
Hundreds of residents took to the streets in N'Djamena last week to protest the ruling military junta.
Demonstrations were organized by The Transformers, an opposition party, along with several civil society groups to protest what they described as a "coup d'état" by the Transitional Military Council (CMT) that has ruled since Deby's death.
The CMT is led by the late president's son, 37-year-old four-star Gen. Mahamat Idriss Deby, and 14 generals who were reportedly close to his father.
The military has promised to hold democratic elections at the end of an 18-month transitional period.