YAOUNDE, CAMEROON —
Soldiers in Cameroon killed eight suspected members of the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram who had disguised themselves as Nigerian refugees and crossed the border.
A number of actual refugees were also killed in Tuesday's confrontation.
Haman Dandama, a resident of the Cameroonian border village of Amchide, told VOA that shooting erupted when suspected Boko Haram members attacked a Cameroonian military jeep that was on regular patrol in a local refugee camp.
Dandama said Nigerian refugees, members of Boko Haram and Cameroonians were killed in the confrontation.
He said at least eight bodies of the assailants were buried in a nearby deserted area, but the government of Cameroon has not confirmed that.
Militant group blamed
Midjiyawa Bakari, governor of Cameroon's Far North Region, blamed Boko Haram for the attack.
Bakari said government troops were deployed to the area to restore calm.
"The situation is under control since the head of state sent several soldiers and many weapons on the site. Everybody is doing his job and there is no major problem to underline," Bakari said.
Colonel Didier Badjeck, spokesperson for Cameroon's military, said Nigerian refugees are safe, but he added they should be watchful because Cameroon is fighting an unknown enemy.
Badjeck said since the war against Boko Haram was declared, there has been mounting insecurity along Cameroon's border with Nigeria.
He said the Nigerian militant group will never overpower the Cameroon army, adding that Cameroon would continue taking care of Nigerian refugees but that they will be more vigilant in the future.
Boko Haram took control of the Nigerian town of Banki several weeks ago and the militants have tried to make incursions across the border into Amchide.
Cameroon's military has been deployed to the border to fight off the militants.
There are currently more than 40,000 Nigerian refugees in Cameroon, driven across the border by the violence in northeastern Nigeria.