Cameroon's military has arrested an arms dealer and uncovered a huge number of weapons buried in a border village by suspected Boko Haram fighters. The Nigerian militant group has been using northern Cameroon as a base to avoid Nigerian security forces.
National radio reported that villagers tipped off the military about the weapons in the northern village of Blangoa.
"Cameroon's defense forces have uncovered and recuperated arms and ammunition which were buried in a bush in a village in Logone and Chari Division of the Far North Region," the report said.
Moussa Alamine, who heads the infantry dispatched to Blangoa to search the village and recover the arms, told VOA that they may have recovered only a portion of the weapons.
He said after a vigorous search, the soldiers discovered four bags of weapons buried in the village, 35 war weapons, 31 cartridges and 1,218 bullets.
- 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
The military recently deployed to Cameroon's northern border with Nigeria to stop the Boko Haram militant group from using the Central African nation as a hideout. Officers suspect the weapons may have been buried by fleeing Boko Haram fighters when Cameroon's military began an offensive against them.
Alamine told VOA that soldiers arrested an arms dealer who supplies Boko Haram with weapons through Chad and Cameroon. He said the dealer's identity was disclosed by arms smugglers after a disagreement over how much they had to pay for his services.
He said 25-year-old Adji Isiaka of Chad was arrested at the Waza military control post with more than $15,000 in his possession.
The Chadian was transferred to Yaounde for fear Boko Haram would attack the military post in the north to rescue him.
The uncovered weapons, meanwhile, have been transported to Cameroon's far north regional capital of Maroua.