At least 11 people have died in the Nigerian border town of Gomboru in an apparent attack by the Boko Haram militant group, which had ceded the territory to Cameroonian forces a few weeks ago.
Witnesses say the deadly attack began Wednesday, just days after Cameroonian forces withdrew from the town, leaving the town exposed to attack.
The attack near the border with Cameroon underscores the tension in northern Nigeria as the country prepares for a what appears will be a closely contested election March 28.
- 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
Boko Haram, which operates in northern Nigeria, held the town of Gomboru from late last year until it was driven out by Cameroon forces last month.
Cameroon is one of three neighboring countries to Nigeria that have organized military forces to defeat Boko Haram.
Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger launched a joint offensive against the group in January after the militants seized a multi-national base on the shores of Lake Chad. Nigerian soldiers told VOA last week that soldiers from South Africa, Britain and Ukraine are fighting alongside the army. Nigerian officials say the soldiers are training Nigerian troops on how to use newly-purchased equipment.
The Islamic militant group has carried on an insurgency in northern Nigeria for the past six years, resulting in thousands of deaths and more than a million people driven from their homes.