Cameroon army frees 24 of 80 Boko Haram hostages

LAGOS — Cameroon’s army has freed 24 hostages kidnapped during a cross-border attack by suspected Boko Haram fighters, government officials said.

File: Cameroonian soldiers patrol on November 12, 2014 in Amchide, northern Cameroon, 1 km from Nigeria. The city was raided by Islamists from Nigeria's Boko Haram, killing eight cameroonian soldiers and leading the population to flee on October 15, 2014, before another six coordinated attacks that killed at least three civilians in the remote north of the country, on November 9, 2014. Boko Haram's five-year insurgency in neighboring Nigeria has left thousands dead, and the Islamists have occasionally carried out attacks over the border. Cameroon has deployed more than 1,000 soldiers in the extreme northeast of the country to counter the Islamist threat. AFP PHOTO

In their latest cross-border raid on Sunday, Boko Haram fighters seized at least 80 people in northern Cameroon, most of them women and children.

Cameroon Information Minister, Issa Tchiroma Bakari, told Al Jazeera that the Cameroon army was able to free at least 24 of the hostages yesterday.

”They were freed as defence forces pursued the attackers who were heading back to Nigeria,” defence ministry spokesman, Colonel Didier Badjeck said.

The attack on Sunday occurred in the village of Mabass, in the Far North region, Bakary said, adding that 80 houses were destroyed.

Bakary said:“We are dealing with barbaric people, lawless people. Nothing can prevent them from assassinating.”

The raid came a day after neighbouring Chad deployed troops to combat Boko Haram in Cameroon and Nigeria, as part of a regional bid to combat the group.

– See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/01/cameroon-army-frees-24-80-boko-haram-hostages/#sthash.5yAnDsUH.dpuf

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