News / Africa

    Suspected Boko Haram Insurgents Attack Cameroon Village

    More than 300 heavily armed men suspected to be members of the Nigerian radical group Boko Haram have attacked the locality of Gorsi Tourou in North Cameroon, burning churches and looting property.
     

    Boko Haram
     

    • Based in the northeastern city of Maiduguri
    • Self-proclaimed leader is Abubakar Shekau
    • Began in 2002 as a nonviolent Islamist splinter group
    • Launched uprising in 2009
    • Has killed tens of thousands since 2010
    • Boko Haram translates to "Western education is sinful"
    • Wants Nigeria to adopt strict Islamic law
    These villagers, who have fled Gorsi Tourou village in far northern Cameroon, are praying for God's protection from the radical Islamist group Boko Haram.

    They escaped their village after a group of more than 300 heavily armed men began looting, burning houses and destroying property.

    Village chief Moussa Sambo, who was invited by Cameroonian authorities to the capital Yaounde, told VOA the invaders have been on the hills of Gorsi Tourou for five days.

    He said it all started on Friday at about 5:00 p.m. when there was a heavy downpour.  He said heavy gunfire was heard and there was total panic, adding the invaders looted food, money and goods.

    Sambo said some of the attackers had taken position on the hills surrounding their village and could monitor the movements of Cameroon's military, which arrived about two hours later and engaged the militants in battle.

    Cameroon's minister of communication and government spokesperson, Issa Tchiroma, tod VOA that there were many casualties, including assailants, a Cameroonian soldier and a villager.  He also said soldiers drove back the attackers.
     
    "Our defense forces responded and one of their vehicles and a war weapon of Kalashnikov type was seized.  Defeated, the attackers went on the run and disappeared within the Nigerian territory," he said.

    But Moussa disputed the claim that the militants fled back to Nigeria.  He said Cameroon soldiers were not able to get to the top of the hills where the assailants were hiding.

    When VOA asked Issa Tchiroma if he was certain that the assailants had left, he said he was calling on citizens to report any suspicious activities in their vicinity.

    "I call on you fellow citizens, be they elite, traditional rulers, peasant, farmers, drivers to watch out and accompany our authorities and forces and defense forces in bringing the information they need in terms of intelligence and denunciation and help them to successfully conduct their mission assigned them," he said.

    Seven bodies believed to be killed Boko Haram members were buried in the village by Cameroonian soldiers, while other corpses were taken away by the militants to the bushes.

    It is the first attack by suspected Boko Haram fighters on the village, situated some 400 kilometers from where the violent Islamist group has previously operated within Cameroon.  

    Some believe the latest violence indicates the group is looking for other entry points into Cameroon, after the government declared war on Boko Haram and deployed troops to areas where the militants attacked in the past.

    You May Like

    Video Twists and Turns Aplenty in US Presidential Race

    Even as Americans pause for this week’s Memorial Day holiday, much attention is focused on the presidential contest

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora