On May 25, 2019, Obed Nangbatna, a reporter for Chad public broadcaster Télé Tchad, was killed by a landmine near the village of N’Gouboua on the northeastern bank of Lake Chad, according to news reports and Chadian army spokesperson Azem Bermandoa, who spoke to CPJ.
Nangbatna, 42, was embedded with the Chadian army to cover an anti-insurgency operation when the military vehicle he was traveling in hit the mine, according to Bermandoa and a report by French public broadcaster Radio France Internationale. Four soldiers in the vehicle were also killed, according to that report.
Bermandoa told CPJ that the army is investigating the case and suspects that the mine was laid by members of the Boko Haram insurgent group.
Nangbatna sustained serious injuries in the blast and was transferred by plane to a military hospital in the capital, N’Djamena, according to Boukar Sanda, the director-general of Chad’s national office of audiovisual media, who spoke with CPJ.
The journalist died of his wounds later that day at the hospital, Sanda said.
Nangbatna was a veteran journalist who covered conflict in the Sahel and had accompanied soldiers on operations before, Belngar Larmé, the president of the Chad Union of Journalists, a local trade organization, told CPJ by phone.
The journalist previously survived an attack on his life while embedded with the Chadian army in the Central Africa Republic on January 25, 2013, Larmé told CPJ, saying that he was with Nangbatna when an insurgent group ambushed the group of soldiers they were covering, killing two. Nangbatna was not injured in the attack, Larmé said.
Nangbatna was buried in N’djamena on May 29, Larmé said.