Joseph Beti Assomo, Cameroon’s Minister Defense says Cameroon’s army, backed by a regional task-force, has freed about 900 Boko Haram hostages, killed at least 100 members of the Islamist extremist group and seized from the Boko Haram Militants an important stock of weapons and ammunition.
Joint forces from Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria and Benin reportedly killed over 100 militants and arrested 100 more in late November. Boko Haram, though based mainly in Nigeria, has become a major threat to wider regional security.
The military operations appear to have taken place in the Sambisa Forest, located in northern Cameroon and northeastern Nigeria. Soldiers who raided the Boko Haram group seized weapons,ammunitions, and black-and-white flags of the Islamic State group.
An army spokesman, Col Didier Badjeck, said on Wednesday that troops had combed areas along the Cameroon-Nigerian long border between November 26 to 28 .Both Col Badjeck and the defense minister, gave a brief statement on state television, cited the same figures of militant deaths and the number of people freed.
On Tuesday at least three people were killed when two suicide bombers attacked in the region.Cameroon has been increasingly drawn into the conflict as there have been regular attacks in recent weeks in the Far North of the country near the border with Nigeria’s Borno State, where Boko Haram was founded. Suicide bombings, often carried out by young women recruited by the militant group in Nigeria, have become almost daily occurrences in the region.
The Defense Minister said trauma care is being made available for the hostages, including women and girls who might have been used as sex slaves.
Since the Boko Haram crisis began in 2009, roughly 20,000 people have been killed and 2.3 million people have been displaced from their homes.
The group has joined forces with the Islamic State group operating in Syria, Iraq and Libya.