KOLOFATA, Cameroon (Chrisitian Examiner) – In a statement read on television and radio on Tuesday, Jan.13, Communications Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary said the Cameroonian army had killed 143 Boko Haram Islamic militants who attacked a military base in the northern town of Kolofata the day before.
Bakary said it was "the heaviest loss yet" suffered by the Islamic terrorists who are based in neighboring Nigeria, and that "important warfare equipment made up of assault rifles of various brands, heavy weapons and bullets of all calibers" were captured or destroyed.
One Cameroonian soldier was killed and four wounded in the assault.
It was the latest in a series of Boko Haram attacks from its stronghold in northeastern Nigeria.
On Saturday, Boko Haram exploited a 10-year-old girl, detonating explosives strapped to her body as she walked in a crowded marketplace in Maiduguri, Nigeria, killing 20 people and injuring many more. The New York Times reported Boko Haram has increasingly employed women as suicide bombers, but "the use of a child to kill ... may be unprecedented in the insurgency."
Bakary said Cameroon's troops fought fiercely in the surprise attack.
"During more than 5 hours near the military camp and other strategic points of the locality," he said, "our defense forces succeeded in neutralizing the attackers on the first front line by systematic bombing of their positions resulting in the set back of the assailants towards the border with Nigeria."
Cameroon President Paul Biya has called for international support and a coordinated response against Boko Haram. Last week he said the African Union and other international organizations must develop a global response to what he termed a global terrorism threat.
Biya urged governments to come together now, cautioning them that the conflict could easily come to their countries, too.