Cameroon Kills 86 Boko Haram Militants

Cameroon Kills 86 Boko Haram MilitantsCameroon Kills 86 Boko Haram Militants

At least 86 Boko Haram militants and five soldiers were killed in clashes between the Cameroon army and Boko Haram militants in the country’s far north on Monday, authorities said.

The “series of clashes” took place in the Waza region near the border with Nigeria, a spokesman for the Cameroonian defense ministry said.

The Cameroonian army recovered one armored vehicle from Boko Haram and damaged another, he added, according to AFP.

The five soldiers who were killed belonged to Cameroon’s elite Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR), which is on the front line in the fight against the Nigeria-based Boko Haram group.

A Cameroonian soldier, speaking on condition of anonymity, said “an ambush by Boko Haram” led to a nearly three-hours gun battle. More than 2,000 Cameroonian soldiers have been deployed in Cameroon’s Far North region since August.

Meanwhile, an army official announced on Monday that more than 1,000 people suspected of being affiliated with Boko Haram were being held in the town of Maroua, also in the country’s Far North region.

“At the moment, the prison of Maroua is holding more than 1,000 Boko Haram (suspects),” said Colonel Joseph Nouma, commander of a local operation to combat Boko Haram.

The militant group has grown in power in the area, where Cameroon and Nigeria are linked by a bridge. Militants have carried out repeated massacres of civilians and attacks on villages there, but are now increasingly active against military targets.

Cameroon has joined a military alliance with Chad, Niger and Nigeria to combat the group, which has stepped up its cross-border attacks in response.