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 non-violent Islamist splinter group
  • Launched uprising in 2009
  • Has killed 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

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid