YAOUNDE (Reuters) - A suicide bomber on a motorbike killed three people and wounded 24 on Sunday at a market in north Cameroon, where Islamist Boko Haram is waging an insurgency for a breakaway Islamic state across four countries, authorities said.
A senior military official said the bomber was also killed in the attack in Mora, in Cameroon’s Far North province. He said that it was possible one of the three victims was also on the bike. Another security source said authorities were convinced this was the work of Boko Haram.
A regional offensive against Boko Haram led by Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger - the four countries most affected by the militant group - has chased it out of towns in the Lake Chad region.
In response, the group has launched a guerrilla campaign mostly targeting the civilian population.
“Sunday is a big market day,” Communications Minister Issa Tchiroma said by telephone, confirming the details and death toll in the Mora attack. “There were also six people seriously wounded who were transported out by helicopter to Maroua.”
He said that “the situation is currently under control”.
Cameroon has been frequently hit by suicide attacks. A suicide bomber killed at least 11 people when he blew himself up close to a mosque in Cameroon near the Nigerian border at the end of June.
Boko Haram pledged its allegiance to Islamic State last year but the group has apparently split, with Islamic State naming Abu Musab al-Barnawi three weeks ago as the group’s leader for West Africa in a two-page interview in its weekly magazine.
But the previous figurehead Abubakar Shekau, or someone claiming to be him, appears to have rejected the new role in another video published after Barnawi’s appointment.
Reporting by Sylvain Andzongo; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Toby Chopra