PARIS – Chad's president says his country's troops are ill-suited to fight armed Islamic extremists in a guerrilla war in Mali and have begun pulling out.
President Idriss Deby said the French-led mission of seizing northern Mali's cities from the extremists has been accomplished. After France, Chad's 2,000 soldiers were the second-largest of the international force fighting in Mali and are the targets of militant attacks, including a suicide bombing last week that killed three Chadian soldiers.
"Chad's army has no ability to face the kind of guerrilla fighting that is emerging in northern Mali. Our soldiers are going to return to Chad. They have accomplished their mission," he said in a joint interview recorded Saturday with Le Monde newspaper, TV5 Monde and RFI radio. He said one battalion is already leaving.