Cameroon’s Multinational Joint Task Force killed at least 27 alleged Boko Haram militants in the Far North region as they were about to cross into neighboring Nigeria with herds of rustled cattle.

“From eyewitness accounts, I can tell you that they were about 50 heavily-armed men who sneaked into villages in the Kolofata District and stole cattle, ” Kasoum Adama, Sub-Prefect for the Kolofata District said by phone Wednesday. As they were heading toward the border with Nigeria, they were ambushed by the joint task force at Grea, a village near the town of Kolofata, he said.

After hours of heavy gunfire, 27 of the militants were killed, 10 were captured and the rest fled into Nigeria, Adama said.

As many as 480 people have been killed in Cameroon in at least 200 attacks by the Nigeria-based Islamist militant group since July 2015,  according to Amnesty International. The militants are seeking to impose Shariah, or Islamic law, in the northeast of that country.

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