Several killed in suicide attack in northern Cameroon

Suspected Boko Haram suicide bomber carried out attack near border with Nigeria, killing at least 10 people.

    Several killed in suicide attack in northern Cameroon
    A Cameroonian soldier walks in front of former Nigerian hostages freed by the Cameroonian troops in Maroua on December 5 [Reuters]

    At least 10 people have been killed and 22 others wounded following a suicide attack in northern Cameroon, an area where the Nigerian armed group Boko Haram has been carrying out attacks.

    Al Jazeera has learned from an army source that the deadly attack happened on Friday at 5.15am in the town of Kolofata, just 13km from the border with Nigeria.  

    Al Jazeera also learned that a male suicide bomber was responsible for carrying out the attack in the centre of town, where locals congregate.

    Boko Haram: A common enemy?

    An Al Jazeera source reported seeing at least 10 wounded victims, most of them women, being transported from Kolofata by helicopter to the Salak Airport in Maroua.

    He said that on Thursday, Cameroonian forces were patrolling Kolofata looking for suspected Boko Haram fighters. 

    The troops also asked the villagers to organise, and report to authorities any suspicious activities in the area, he said. 

    A separate report from the German news agency DPA said a second suicide bomber escaped as a bomb failed to detonate.

    Joseph Nouma, commander of Cameroon's elite forces fighting Boko Haram, told DPA that those who were wounded have been taken to hospitals.

    It was the second time that Kolofata, which is regularly targeted in attacks blamed on Boko Haram, has been hit by a suicide attacker in three months. 

    On September 13 at least seven were killed there in a double suicide attack.

    The town is located near Kerawa, another Cameroonian town where up to 40 people lost their lives on September 3 in one of the deadliest attacks on Cameroonian territory.

    Cameroon, Chad and Niger have formed a military alliance with Nigeria and Benin to battle Boko Haram, which earlier this year declared allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

    Boko Haram's grip on the region has suffered as a result of offensives launched by local armies and a multi-national force.

    On December 2, Cameroon reported killing at least 100 Boko Haram fighters and freeing 900 hostages.

    Boko Haram, which wants to implement Islamic law in Nigeria's northeast, has launched attacks in Nigeria and neighbouring countries including Cameroon over the past few months.

    The armed group was using Cameroon's impoverished far north to stockpile supplies and recruits until the government cracked down last year.

    Cameroon is part of an 8,700-strong regional force led by Nigeria against the group, expected to be operational by the end of the year.

    Nigeria and Cameroon share a 1,690km border.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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