A group of 44 suspected members of Boko Haram, arrested during a recent operation have been found dead in their prison cell, apparently poisoned, Chad chief prosecutor announced Saturday.
Speaking on national television, Youssouf Tom said the 44 prisoners had been found dead in their cell on Thursday.
An autopsy carried out on four of the dead prisoners revealed traces of a lethal substance that had caused heart attacks in some of the victims and severe asphyxiation in the others, he said.
They dead men were among a group of 58 suspects captured during a major army operation in around Lake Chad launched by President Idriss Deby Itno at the end of March.
“Following the fighting around Lake Chad, 58 members of Boko Haram had been taken prisoner and sent to Ndjamena for the purposes of the investigation,” said Tom.
“On Thursday morning, their jailers told us that 44 prisoners had been found dead in their cell,” Tom said, adding that he had attended the scene.
“We have buried 40 bodies and sent four bodies to the medical examiner for autopsy.” An investigation was ongoing to determine exactly how the prisoners had died, he said.