YAOUNDE (Reuters) - Boko Haram militants massacred six villagers in Cameroon before the overnight attack was repelled by government soldiers, who killed 12 of the Islamist fighters, a defence ministry spokesman said on Thursday.
The raid was launched during the night from Wednesday to Thursday on the village of Blamé in Cameroon’s Far North region, where the Nigerian Islamists have stepped up attacks in recent months.
“Six villagers had their throats slit. Twelve Boko Haram members were killed. The Cameroonian army drove back the attackers. A Cameroonian soldier wounded yesterday has just died,” said Colonel Didier Badjeck.
Cameroon has deployed thousands of soldiers in its northern border areas as part of a military operation aimed at curbing the spillover of violence from Boko Haram’s strongholds in northeast Nigeria.
However cross-border attacks by Islamist gunmen have become an almost daily occurrence.
At least eight people were killed and about 100 kidnapped by suspected Boko Haram fighters in another Far North village last week. Dozens of people were killed in a series of suicide bombings in the town of Maroua last month.
Cameroon is a member of a joint military force with Chad, Niger and Nigeria that is fighting to stamp out Boko Haram’s six-year-old insurgency.
Reporting by Josiane Kouaghue; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by Andrew Roche