Boko Haram kidnaps 60 in Cameroon

Published January 19th, 2015 - 06:00 GMT

A Cameroonian police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Boko Haram militants on Sunday "burst into two villages in the Tourou area.... They torched houses and left with around 60 people. Most of these people were women and children."

He added that the attack has "left some people dead," adding that the Cameroonian army has "launched an operation" in the wake of the assault.

The development comes as thousands of Chadian troops have arrived in Cameroon. The soldiers passed through the Chadian town of Bongor, entered Cameroon through the northern town of Yagoua, and are on their way to Maroua in northern Cameroon.

Colonel Didier Badjeck, spokesman for Cameroon's military, has said that Chadian soldiers will be deployed to the war zone on the border with Nigeria, and they will work together with Cameroonian forces.

Cameroon’s President Paul Biya announced on January 15 that Chad was going to send military forces to help Cameroonian forces fight the Boko Haram militants.

On January 12, the Cameroonian army killed 143 Boko Haram militants as they mounted an offensive on a military camp in the northern town of Kolofata, located approximately 840 kilometers (521 miles) northeast of the capital, Yaounde.

Cameroon also launched airstrikes against Boko Haram on December 28, after nearly 1,000 militants from the group assaulted a military camp located near its northern border. The Cameroonian troops in the camp were forced to flee. The base was, however, retaken later.

Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is forbidden,” aims to overthrow the government in Nigeria.

The United Nations says the latest wave of terrorist attacks by Boko Haram militants in northeastern Nigeria has forced around 20,000 people to flee their homes to other countries. 

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