Boko Haram lets 20 Cameroon hostages go

2015-01-19 15:44
(Haruna Umar, AP)

(Haruna Umar, AP)

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Yaound - Around 20 of the dozens of hostages seized by Boko Haram in Cameroon at the weekend were released by the Islamists as they were chased by the army, media reports and sources said on Monday.

In their latest cross-border raid on Sunday, the Nigeria-based jihadists seized at least 60 people in northern Cameroon, most of them women and children.

But they released around 24 as they were chased by the army shortly after the raid, a source with a non-governmental organisation said on condition of anonymity.

Cameron's national radio and television reported that around 20 hostages were freed, but did not provide any details.

The weekend raid was the largest abduction ever carried out in Cameroon's far north region by Boko Haram and comes amid mounting fears the group is expanding its operations into neighbouring countries.

Cameroon had come under attack last on Monday when it said its troops repelled a raid by Boko Haram on a northern military base, killing 143 militants in the process.

Brutal raids, massacres, suicide bomb attacks and kidnappings by the Islamists have claimed at least 13 000 lives and driven an estimated 1.5 million people from their homes, mainly in its stronghold in northeast Nigeria.

Chad on Saturday sent troops, some 400 military vehicles and several attack helicopters to Cameroon and Nigeria to aid in the fight against the Islamist militants.

Read more on:    boko haram  |  cameroon  |  west africa

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