True to his word, Boko Haram leader Abubaker Shekau has upped his offensive against the neighboring Cameroon. Over the weekend, his sect attempted to kidnap 80 Cameroonians. However, just as with last week, Cameroon’s military didn’t take the attack lying down and were able to free at least 24 of the hostages before the sect crossed over Nigeria’s border, reports the BBC.
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In the dawn hours of Sunday morning, Boko Haram reportedly entered the villages of Maki and Madi, both located near the city of Mokolo, kidnapping dozens of mostly women and children and burning a similar number of houses to the ground.
This is the first time Boko Haram is staging an abduction of this scale outside of Nigeria.
In response, Cameroon’s military took chase after the destructive group as they attempted to escape across the border.
The Cameroonian army pursued the group towards the Nigerian border, eventually engaging the militants in a gun battle.
Local officials and the Cameroonian military said some of the hostages had managed to escape from their captors. Others were freed during and after the fighting.
While fighting, the shameful group reportedly used some of the hostages as shields.
So far, there is no word yet on the number of casualties suffered by either side.
Unfortunately, this latest abduction proves that Shekau’s proposed threat to attack Cameroon is a promise he means to keep.
The attack on Cameroonian territory by Boko Haram came exactly one week, January 5th, after a video purportedly posted on the Internet by leader Abubaker Shekau called on Cameroonian President Paul Biya to denounce democracy and embrace Islam or face heavy attacks from his sect. Again in the video, he also called on the youths of Cameroon to rise up against the present regime.
The aforementioned attack refers to Boko Haram’s attempt to take over a military base in Kolofata, Cameroon, last Monday; however, the sect was denied by the Cameroon military.
“During one of their numerous attacks on Cameroonian territory to take over a military base in the border town of Kolofata, far north region of the Republic of Cameroon, Boko Haram encountered stiff resistance from the Cameroon army in a fierce battle, where 143 Boko Haram militants were killed. The battle lasted well over five hours, with one Cameroonian soldier, Bele Onana, being killed with four others seriously injured.”
By Friday, Cameroon announced that they were enlisting the help of Chad’s military in order to stop Boko Haram from terrorizing Cameroonians.