10 Boko Haram suspects 'to face trial in Chad over twin attacks'

A picture taken on June 15, 2015 shows police forces outside the police headquarters in N'Djamena (AFP Photo/Brahim Adji)

N'Djamena (AFP) - Ten suspected Boko Haram members are set to go on trial in Chad over their alleged roles in twin attacks that killed 38 people in the capital N'Djamena in June, a judicial source told AFP.

The case was on Monday referred to the country's criminal court, the source said, though no date was given for the start of the proceedings.

The trial of the suspected Islamists from the Nigeria-based group will be the first of its kind in Chad.

"The 10 suspected perpetrators stand accused of murder using explosives, illegal possession of weapons of war and criminal conspiracy," the source said.

The accused include Nigerian national Mahamat Mustapha, also known as Bana Fanaye, who according to Chadian authorities was the mastermind behind the June 15 suicide attacks that struck a school and a police building in N'Djamena, killing 38 people and injuring over 100.

Shortly after Fanaye's arrest in late June, Chad's top prosecutor Alghassim Kassim said the suspect was the "ringleader of a network smuggling weapons and munitions between Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad".

Fanaye was also responsible for procuring weapons and "recruiting and managing Boko Haram members", Kassim added.

The June attacks in the Chadian capital were followed by another suicide blast at a market in July that killed 15 people.

Chad -- which is part of a regional fightback against Boko Haram -- has beefed up security in response to the bloodshed. Its parliament last month also passed a stringent anti-terror bill that reintroduces the death penalty for the most serious offences.

The draft law has yet to be promulgated however and as such has no bearing on the case of the 10 detainees set to go on trial, the judicial source told AFP.

Boko Haram, which is seeking to carve out a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria, has killed some 15,000 people since 2009.

A regional 8,700-strong force aimed at ending the insurgency is due to deploy within days.

Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria have all pledged troops towards the new force.