Hundreds of security experts are gathered in Senegal's capital to strategize against the growing threat posed by Boko Haram and other jihadist groups in the region.

Officials from Mali, France, the United States and the United Nations are taking part in the two-day conference in Dakar.

The meeting started Monday just hours after Senegalese authorities announced that several imams have been arrested and accused of supporting the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram. The Nigeria-based group has been attacking neighboring countries but the arrests in October mark are the first suggesting an extremist threat in Senegal, a mostly moderate Muslim nation.

Over the weekend, two girls wearing suicide vests detonated their explosives in Chad in a community along Lake Chad killing several people, according to national television.