For 1st time, Cameroon uses airstrikes against Boko Haram

Cameroon has sent thousands of soldiers to its Far North region to fight off the militants and said it launched air attacks on the movement for the first time

For 1st time, Cameroon uses airstrikes against Boko Haram

World Bulletin/News Desk

Cameroon launched its first airstrikes against the Boko Haram group, killing at least 41 militants following three days of clashes in the north of the country.

"Around 1,000 militants stormed the camp of Achigachia of the Cameroonian defense forces, who were forced to retreat in order to defend their positions," Cameroonian Communication Minister Issa Bakary Tchiroma said in a press release.

"Upon instructions from Cameroonian President Paul Biya, warplanes went into action for the first time since the beginning of this conflict," Tchiroma, who is also the government's spokesman, added.

"After intense fire from the fighter jets, the attackers fled the Achigachia camp, having lost many fighters," he said.

Last week, Boko Haram militants waged a series of attacks on the northern Cameroonian villages of Makari, Amchide, Limani and Achigachia, all of which are located in the far north of the country, along borders with Nigeria.

Meanwhile, security sources said that around 10 Cameroonian army troops went missing, suggesting that the soldiers might have been kidnapped by Boko Haram militants.

Areas of Cameroon that border Nigeria have seen a recent spike in attacks by Boko Haram.

A security source said that Boko Haram fighters based in Nigeria are "dangerously advancing inside the Cameroon, and are no longer limited to attacks along the border."

The militants briefly occupied an army camp in Achigachia after a fierce fight, but withdrew after air attacks, army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Didier Badjeck told Reuters by phone.

All the militants had now pulled back into Nigeria, Badjeck said.

Both Tchiroma and Badjeck said it was too early to give full details of casualties.

Boko Haram has killed more than 40 soldiers and recruited hundreds of youths during raids in Cameroon's Far North region this year.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 29 Aralık 2014, 16:21