Boko Haram Kills 13 In Northern Cameroon

 

Thirteen civilians, eight of them children, died Friday when a woman suicide bomber blew herself up in a jihadist attack on a village in northern Cameroon, a traditional chief and a police officer told AFP.

Cameroon’s Far North region is grappling with deadly incursions from neighbouring Nigeria, where an insurgency launched by Boko Haram in 2009 has killed tens of thousands of people.

Mahamat Chetima Abba, the traditional chief, or lamido, in the village of Mozogo, said the attackers arrived in the middle of the night, shouting “Allah Akbar” (“God is greater”) and brandishing machetes.

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The panicked villagers tried to run off into the nearby forest, and in the stampede the suicide bomber detonated her device, he said.

The account was confirmed by a member of the local defence committee, who said his group had tried to repel the attack.

“Thirteen civilians died, two of them children aged four and five as well as six teenagers,” a regional police officer told AFP by phone, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The lamido confirmed the number, saying that a woman and her three children were among the dead.

Both attributed the attack to Boko Haram.

The police source said that in addition to the suicide bomber, the other fatality among the attackers was a man who was killed by the self-defence force.

“They infiltrated the population — Boko Haram is inflicting more and more damage here,” Chetima Abba said.

“However, it seems that they no longer have the means to carry out mass attacks using guns,” he said, noting that the assailants had carried machetes.

“They are using home-made bombs more and more,” he said.

On Monday, three members of a self-defence force in the nearby village of Kaliari were killed.

More than 36,000 people have been killed, most of them in Nigeria, and three million people have fled their homes since Boko Haram launched its insurrection in northeastern Nigeria in 2009.

Boko Haram and a splinter group called the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) have stepped up attacks in recent years in Nigeria and neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

Niger is also being hit by jihadists crossing from Mali.

An attack on two villages in the western Niger region of Tillaberi on Saturday left 105 dead, the highest civilian toll in the Sahel since the jihadist insurgency began in the region in 2012.

AFP

Niger To Send Troops To Fight Boko Haram In Nigeria

Boko HaramNiger’s parliament has unanimously approved sending troops to the northern part of Nigeria, as part of a regional offensive against the Islamist group (Boko Haram), that has launched several cross-border attacks in recent days.

Security sources said soldiers in Diffa, a town on Niger’s border with Nigeria, shot dead a suicide bomber heading on foot towards a military base and warned that Boko Haram had infiltrated groups of civilians who had crossed into Niger.

Nigeria, Benin, Niger, Chad and Cameroon agreed at the weekend to send a joint force of 8,700 troops to battle the militant group, which had killed thousands of people and kidnapped hundreds more in its bid to carve out a caliphate.

The general elections in Nigeria that was earlier scheduled to hold on February 14, had been shifted to March 28 by the electoral body.

In the last few days, Niger has massed more than 3,000 troops in Diffa on its southeastern border with Nigeria, awaiting approval to go on the offensive.

Niger’s Parliamentary Speaker, Adamou Salifou, said on Monday, after the vote that was supported by all 102 deputies present, that “the pooling of the efforts and resources of concerned countries would contribute without doubt, to crushing this group which shows scorn, through its barbaric acts, for the Muslim religion.”

Diffa Attack

On Monday, Boko Haram militants reportedly bombed Diffa leaving five people dead. This was its third attack in the area in four days. It also carried out raids in neighboring Cameroon, where a bus full of passengers was kidnapped.

The residents in Diffa, which lies about few miles away from the territory controlled by Boko Haram, had long spoken of sleeper cells infiltrating their communities.

Several security sources warned that the militants, who had been living among civilians in northern Nigeria, were among those who had fled to Niger with them.

“Most of the Boko Haram fighters who have operated in Diffa have come from these displaced.

“They are Nigerian refugees or people from Niger who had been in Nigeria.

“There are real networks,” a security officer said.

An intensification of Boko Haram violence near Lake Chad, which straddles Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger, had sent tens of thousands of Nigerians, fleeing across the border.

Diffa was mainly quiet on Tuesday but residents were scrambling for buses out.

“The situation in Diffa is very serious, We will do everything to protect the population.

“We will wage war against Boko Haram all the way to its last hideout,” Niger Defense Minister, Karidio Mahamadou, said on a private radio station.

Boko Haram Loses 143 Fighters In Cameroon Clashes

Borno Boko haramAt least 143 Boko Haram fighters were killed in an attack on a military camp in Cameroon on Monday, a minister said, adding that it was the heaviest loss sustained by the Nigerian Islamist group in the country.

In a statement, the Minister of Communications, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, said: “The terrorists … lost 143 lives and important warfare equipment made up of assault rifles of various brands, heavy weapons and bullets of all calibres”.

“On the Cameroon side, we lost one life, the Corporal-Chef Bela Onana, as well as four wounded.”

It was not immediately possible to independently verify the toll from the fighting near the northern town of Kolofata, Reuters reported.

Cameroon’s army determines death tolls either visually, or by counting the number of vehicles it destroys and estimating how many militants each vehicle carried, a senior official in Cameroon’s Far North region told Reuters last month.

Boko Haram, which has killed thousands in its attempt to set up an Islamic State and bring an end to western education in north-east Nigeria, had also targeted Cameroon over the past year.

Earlier this month, a man claiming to be the leader of the group threatened to step up violence in Cameroon unless it scraps its constitution and embraces Islam.