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General News of Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Source: standard-tribune.com

Boko Haram launches first attack on Cameroon soil

Boko Haram might just have launched its first assault targeting the local population on Cameroonian territory.

Seven people – a Cameroonian soldier and six militants – died in the attack near the northwestern border with Nigeria on Sunday.

Military sources said they also captured several militants during a gunfight but did not give details. An unspecified number of civilians were injured, according to local media.

Fighting broke out after villagers spotted about 30 heavily armed Boko Haram militia entering the country and reported to security forces, according to reports.

Boko Haram has gone after targets in Cameroon before, taking foreigners hostage on at least two occasions, but it is their first armed attack in the country.

It came as Nigerian officials claimed Cameroon was not doing enough to help their campaign against the Islamic group by leaving its borders poorly policed.

Nigerian media quoted senior officials last week alleging that it was hard to break the resilience of Boko Haram because Cameroon was “uncopperative”.

They have blamed Yaounde for not letting Nigerian forces fight Boko Haram across the border as other neighboring countries do.

The anti-Cameroon remarks came on the heels of strong criticism against the Nigerian government and army for not being as resourceful and dedicated as Boko Haram militia.

Cameroon has dismissed the allegations pointing to numerous operations by the Cameroon army in the north and the reinforcement of border security.

Issa Tchiroma, the minister of communication and government spokesperson, called the allegations a “hostile campaign” during a news conference on Monday.

Boko Haram has been operating in north-east Nigeria since 2009 and is responsible for the slaughter of thousands of people across northern Nigeria.

They killed at least 100 people in February 2014 alone and have vowed to continue their campaign against western education.

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