Cameroonian forces killed at least 41 Boko Haram fighters in clashes in the north of the country after a series of attacks by the Nigerian Islamist-militant group, the government said.
Soldiers responded to raids on the towns of Makary, Amchide, Limani and Achigachia near the border with Nigeria, government spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary said in a statement handed to reporters yesterday in the capital, Yaounde. The Central African nation deployed military aircraft for the first time in its fight against the insurgents, he said.
At least 34 fighters were killed when the Cameroonians attacked a Boko Haram base camp at Shogori, while an exchange of fire at Waza on the border left seven militants dead, Bakary said. One Cameroonian soldier died and three others were wounded, he said.
Cameroonian President Paul Biya has sent more than 1,000 troops to the border with Nigeria as Boko Haram intensified its cross-border attacks in the country, killing hundreds of people this year. Boko Haram has been fighting security forces in Nigeria for the past five years, as it bids to impose Islamic law in Africa’s biggest economy and oil producer. In that time it has killed more than 13,000 people, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said in September.
Cameroon’s government urged residents in the north to cooperate with the military by providing information that may help detect the militants, Bakary said.