Nigerian military launch counter-attack as Boko Haram insurgency believed to spread to Cameroon

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Yesterday, Nigeria's military engaged in gun battles with Islamic extremist group Boko Haram, aimed at regaining two towns in northeastern Nigeria recently captured by the group. This comes as suspected members of Boko Haram attacked a village inside Cameroon. File:Logo of Boko Haram.svg

Logo of Boko Haram
Image: ArnoldPlaton.
(Image missing from Commons: image; log)

On Wednesday, Boko Haram attacked and occupied the town of Gwoza, with over 50 reported killed as they forced Nigerian forces out of the town, a stronghold in the fight against the militants. This followed the capture of Damboa in July, leaving much of Borno State under the control of the militants.

Reuters reported eyewitness accounts of the aftermath of the attack on Gwoza, with 500 people said to have gone into hiding in the nearby mountains, and the Emir of Gwoza missing after an attack on his palace.

An attack on a remote northern Cameroon village in by suspected Boko Haram militants was also reported on Wednesday. The attack left ten people, including one soldier, dead, as the group reportedly killed those they had captured during a confrontation with Cameroonian soldiers as they headed towards the Nigerian border. This follows the kidnapping of several people including the Cameroonian deputy prime minister's wife by militants; Boko Haram is reportedly looking to extend its influence outside of Nigeria, including recruiting Cameroonians to their cause. In response to the threat, the Cameroonian government has sent more than 1000 soldiers to the border region.

Boko Haram first began militant operations in 2009, in an attempt to create an Islamic state in the area. The Nigerian military has struggled to counter their progress. The situation in Nigeria came to International attention in April after the kidnapping of 200 school girls from a school, for which Boko Haram claimed responsibility.