Boko Haram fighters kill at least 16 in Cameroon: mayor
Fighters from the Boko Haram jihadist group killed at least 16 people in an attack on a camp for displaced people in northern Cameroon, an official said Sunday.
"The toll is currently 16 dead, it is clear that it was Boko Haram that was responsible," local mayor Mahamat Chetima Abba told AFP following the overnight attack on the Nguetchewe camp.
Another local politician, speaking on condition of anonymity, described the area where the attack took place as one in which people would "hide" from Boko Haram attacks.
The jihadist group, formed in northeastern Nigeria in 2009, has regularly launched attacks there since 2014, staging small-scale raids aimed at stealing livestock and food.
The area is known as the Far North, an impoverished tongue of land that lies between Chad to the east and Nigeria to the west.
"There had been a relative calm for a few weeks, but they took advantage of their knowledge of the terrain to bypass surveillance points and the positions of the security forces. They surprised us," the mayor added.
"I counted 15 bodies, some of which were dismembered, at the scene and in the morgue at the hospital, where the wounded were evacuated," a witness to the attack, who also asked to remain anonymous.
A week before the attack the Cameroon army announced they had killed five Boko Haram fighters.
After beginning in Nigeria, the Boko Haram violence has spread to Cameroon as well as Niger and Chad.
It has prompted the formation of a four-nation anti-jihad coalition, the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), of which the Chadian army is a key component.
In Chad, the jihadists on Friday killed at least 10 civilians and kidnapped seven others in an attack on a village in the troubled Lake Chad region.
Boko Haram's insurgency has killed more than 36,000 people and displaced more than two million from their homes.
In March, Chad's armed forces suffered their biggest single-day loss, when 98 soldiers were massacred in their base at Bohoma, on the shores of Lake Chad.
In response, President Idriss Deby launched an offensive from March 31 to April 3, declaring at its end that there was "not a single jihadist left" in the Lake Chad region.
But sporadic violence has continued, with an attack attributed to Boko Haram on an army vehicle last month killing eight Chadian soldiers.