27 May 2014

Nigeria: Deadly Attack On Security Base, Villages in Northern Nigeria

A security base and two villages in the north east of Nigeria have been attacked, allegedly by the terror group Boko Haram. Cameroon is reported to have sent 1,000 troops to the border region.

According to security officials on Tuesday, up to 24 soldiers and 21 policemen were killed in the northeastern town of Buni Yadi when gunmen attacked a checkpoint, military base and police barracks on Monday night. Buni Yadi is in Yobe state, one of the areas most targeted by Boko Haram.

The assailants then attacked the home of a local government leader and a number of government buildings, before shooting at an empty primary school and burning vehicles.

Details of the attack only emerged slowly because of poor mobile phone reception in the area. Much of the telecommunication infrastructure has already been destroyed in previous attacks.

Monday's attack happened near the Federal Government College where Boko Haram militants shot or burned to death 59 students in February.

In another attack reported on Tuesday, government officials said nine people died in two remote villages in Borno state. The assailants were also suspected of being Boko Haram militants.

While the Boko Haram Islamist group is being viewed increasingly as an international terror group. Its name can be translated as "western education is a sin."

Nigeria's Chief of Defense Staff, Alex Badeh, said on Monday that the military had located more than 200 schoolgirls held hostage by Boko Haram. He warned that an armed rescue mission could prove fatal for the hostages.

Cameroon engagement

According to the Reuters news agency, Cameroon has sent 1,000 troops and armored vehicles to its border region with Nigeria to increase its military presence as a counter to Boko Haram.

Defense ministry spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Didier Badjeck said on Tuesday that the troops from the Special Forces of Cameroon's rapid intervention brigade (BIR) left the capital on Monday. Several armored vehicles were deployed three days earlier, he said.

"Their mission will be to carry out reconnaissance and be ready to respond with enough fire power," Badjeck said. "They are patrolling in northern region at the moment."

Boko Haram is suspected of attacking a Chinese workers camp in northern Cameroon earlier this month. Ten Chinese workers are still missing following the attack.

Leaders of Nigeria and neighboring Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Benin met in Paris on May 17 with Western officials to plan coordinated actions against Boko Haram, which they said threatens the security of the whole region.

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