Yaounde — Cameroon has deployed troops to its northern region, joining international efforts to combat militants after the Nigerian Boko Haram kidnapped the wife of Cameroon's Vice Prime Minister and killed at least three people on Sunday July 27 in a cross-border attack in the northern town of Kolofata, Cameroon officials said.
"I can confirm that the home of Vice Prime Minister Amadou Ali in Kolofata came under a savage attack from Boko Haram militants," government spokesman Issa Tchiroma, who is also communications minister, told Reuters by telephone.
"They unfortunately took away his wife. They also attacked the lamido's residence and he was also kidnapped," he said, adding that at least three people were killed in the attack.
A local religious leader, or lamido, named Seini Boukar Lamine, who is also the town's mayor, and five members of his family were also kidnapped in a separate attack on his home.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Mr Tchiroma told a press conference later on Sunday July 27 that the Cameroonian army had taken the town of Kolofata back under control after repulsing the militants, who he said had used "brutal and unqualified violence".
"We do not have all the facts in order to give full information on the exact circumstances and the victim toll of this attack," Mr Tchiroma said on state television.
A Cameroon military commander in the region told Reuters security officials had taken the Vice Prime Minister away to a neighbouring town. He had been at home to celebrate the Muslim feast of Ramadaan with his family when the attack happened.
Boko Haram have killed hundreds of people this year, mostly in North-Eastern Nigeria, although they have bombed places across the country.
The group rejects Western-style education and is trying to carve out a de facto Islamic state in northern Nigeria.