News / Africa

    Cameroon: Arrested Suicide Bomber May Be Kidnapped Chibok Girl

    FILE - In this  photo taken from video  by Nigeria's Boko Haram terrorist network, Monday May 12, 2014 shows the alleged missing girls abducted from the northeastern town of Chibok. The new video purports to show dozens of abducted schoolgirls, covered in jihab  and praying in Arabic.
    FILE - In this photo taken from video by Nigeria's Boko Haram terrorist network, Monday May 12, 2014 shows the alleged missing girls abducted from the northeastern town of Chibok. The new video purports to show dozens of abducted schoolgirls, covered in jihab and praying in Arabic.

    A suspected suicide bomber detained before she could detonate explosives in a town on Cameroon's northern border with Nigeria says she is one of the girls kidnapped from a Nigerian school at Chibok in 2014.

    Babila Akao, the highest-ranking official in Mayo Sava — an administrative area on Cameroon's northern border with Nigeria — says he asked the military and local self-defense groups to arrest or kill three suicide bombers his intelligence services and the population said had crossed over from Nigeria to Cameroon.

    "Yesterday in the night we had information that three suicide bombers, young women had been brought from Banki into Limani and Amchide," said Akao. "Immediately I informed the D.O.'s [local administrative authorities] of Kolofata and Mora and my colleagues of the forces of law {military} and also all the members of the committee [self-defense groups] have been on the field and their work has given what you see today."

    Limani, Cameroon
    Limani, Cameroon

    Kidnapped in Chibok

    Idrissou Yacoubou, leader of a self-defense group in Limani, says they arrested one of the girls before she could blow herself up. Another surrendered and the other escaped back to Nigeria. He says the girl who surrendered confessed she was one of the more than 200 girls seized two years ago by Boko Haram from the Nigerian town of Chibok and taken to the Sambisa forest stronghold of the terrorist group.

    Sambisa Forest, northeastern Nigeria
    Sambisa Forest, northeastern Nigeria

    Yacoubou says the 15-year-old girl who told them she was kidnapped from a school in Chibok ran to a woman in a nearby house and started crying for help while another older girl with explosives on her body panicked and surrendered.

    Idrissou said the 15-year-old girl looked tired and malnourished, and could not give them more details about her stay in the forest or how she and the other captives were treated.

    The girls have been handed over to Cameroon soldiers and their peers from Nigeria, Chad and Niger; members of the multi-national joint forces fighting Boko Haram.

    Investigations

    Midjiyawa Bakari, governor of the far north region of Cameroon, has ordered investigations to find out the authenticity of the girl's declarations. He congratulated the self-defense group for helping to stop Boko Haram atrocities.

    Bakari says Boko Haram, which he says is on the verge of being eliminated, has changed strategy and is using all of its remaining supporters and captives as instruments to kill. He says he is very proud of the actions carried out by self defense groups and is urging everyone to collaborate with them and the military to completely eliminate Boko Haram.

    Some 270 girls were kidnapped from a Nigerian school at Chibok and loaded onto trucks to an unknown destination in April 2014, provoking an international outcry.

    FILE - People attend a demonstration calling on the government to rescue the kidnapped girls of the government secondary school in Chibok, in Abuja, Nigeria, Oct. 14, 2014.
    FILE - People attend a demonstration calling on the government to rescue the kidnapped girls of the government secondary school in Chibok, in Abuja, Nigeria, Oct. 14, 2014.

    An international campaign dubbed "Bring Back Our Girls" was launched. About 50 of them later escaped. Nigeria says it does not know with certainty where the remaining Chibok girls are hidden.

    Boko Haram has been using teenage girls in suicide bombings in Cameroon and in Nigeria.

     

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