Suicide bomb and gun attacks in Cameroon and neighboring Nigeria by suspected Boko Haram militants left at least 17 people dead, residents and witnesses said.
Attackers strapped with explosives advanced on a military checkpoint in Cameroon’s northwestern town of Fotokol on Sunday, killing two soldiers and 14 civilians as the blasts detonated, resident Mohammed Abacha said by phone Monday. “The bombers came and began shooting and later exploded as they moved closer to the soldiers’ positions,” he said.
Seventeen people wounded in the assault included seven Chadian and Cameroonian soldiers, according to a statement by Cameroon’s presidency. It put the death toll at 13.
The tightening of security around Fotokol, on the border with Nigeria, includes patrols by military helicopters and a curfew on travel, Midjiyawa Bakari, governor of the Far North region, said on Monday. “The movement of vehicles and motorbikes in the night has been banned,” Bakari said.
In Nigeria, a bomber killed himself and injured four people when he detonated explosives at a military checkpoint near the northeastern city of Maiduguri, Hassan Ibrahim, a member of a pro-government militia, said by phone. He spoke from Maiduguri, the birthplace of the Boko Haram Islamist insurgent group and capital of Borno state.
Boko Haram has been waging a six-year violent campaign to impose its version of Islamic law, or Shariah, in Africa’s most populous nation. The violence has claimed thousands of lives and driven more than a million from their homes. The group expanded its attacks to Cameroon, Chad and Niger after the three neighbors joined Nigeria to fight the insurgents.