Boko Haram fighters have not let up, this time attacking Cameroon where at least 60 people were kidnapped and many killed. According to local police, this is the latest raid across borders that the Nigerian Islamist group has made.
The day prior to the kidnappings and killings, neighboring Chad had deployed troops to fight against the Islamist group in Nigeria and Cameroon as part of a regional effort to battle the insurgents. During the attack, militants burst into two Tourou area villages, torching homes and then kidnapping at least 60 people. In a statement from one law enforcement official, the majority of people taken were women and children.
Although the exact number is unknown, it was confirmed that many people were left dead in the wake of the attack. It was also confirmed that after the assault, the Cameroon army had launched a special operation.
While there have been other kidnappings in the far north region of Cameroon by Boko Haram extremists, this is the largest abduction to date. The attack comes at the same time that people fear the group is growing and expanding operations into nearby countries. Just this past Monday, Cameroon was attacked when its troops fought against a Boko Haram raid on the military base to the north. In that attack, roughly 143 militants were killed.
For failing to bring the group’s horrendous acts to an end, the Nigerian government has been widely criticized. However, the Boko Haram is working hard to create a hardline Islamic state in that country. So far, 13,000 people at minimum have been killed and kidnapped during horrible massacres, raids, kidnapping efforts, and suicide bomb attacks. In addition, there have been close to 1.5 million people driven out of their homes.
Another four people were killed and 48 people injured on Sunday when a suicide bomber attacked a Potiskum bus station in the northeastern region of Nigeria. Initially, the suicide bomber had slowed the car being driven some distance away from the bus station but then very quickly, accelerated and rammed into busses with people lined up outside ready to board. While no one immediately claimed responsibility, this town has often been the target of the Boko Haram.
The city of Baga on Lake Chad shores in Nigeria is trying to be recaptured by Chadian troops. This city was also attacked earlier this month and according to many, that assault was by far the deadliest of all. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International released satellite images that showed incredible destruction throughout the area to include 3,700 buildings that were either completely destroyed or severely damaged.
The Nigerian Army claims that only 150 people were killed in the Baga attack although Amnesty International disagrees, saying the death toll consisted of up to 2,000 civilians. To defend Cameroon and Nigeria against Boko Haram, Chad troops to include roughly 400 military vehicles and a number of attack helicopters were sent to the regions.
As stated by Djerou Ibrahim, Chadian colonel in charge of operations, the troops will advance toward the enemy tomorrow.