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Chad Arrests Leader of Elephant Poaching Gang

Authorities in Chad have arrested the suspected leader of a poaching gang that is accused of slaughtering nearly 200 elephants.

Idriss Hassan was arrested last week while transporting 124 elephant tusks.

Environment Minister Mahamat Halikimi says Hassan has been operating since 2011 in a region near the borders of Chad, Cameroon, and the Central African Republic.

Officials accuse Hassan and his gang of poaching at least 189 elephants since August. The group is also accused of killing five park rangers in Cameroon.

Wildlife groups have warned that increased poaching, fueled by demand for ivory in Asia, puts African elephants at risk of extinction.

Many African governments take measures to stop the poachers but often face well-armed gangs that in some cases, have links with corrupt government officials.

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