Cameroon, Yaounde: According to a police tollAt least 25 people were killed today in three suicide attacks in the far north of Cameroon, a region often targeted by Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamist group. The attacks targeted the local market in Bodo, near the frontier with Nigeria in one of the deadliest incidents to hit the region. “An initial toll shows 29 dead and around 30 injured,” a police source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP, saying the toll included the three suicide bombers.
A local official said on Monday: “There was a quadruple suicide bombing in the village of Bodo this morning. There are around 25 deaths and several wounded.” Two bombers struck the Bodo central market while others hit the town’s main entrance and exit points, the official said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. Cameroonian troops form part of an 8,700-strong regional force created to defeat Boko Haram, the militant group that has waged a six-year campaign to carve out a separate state in north-eastern Nigeria.
Boko Haram has stepped up attacks outside Nigeria over the past year in countries including Cameroon, Chad and Niger, threatening regional security. The bombing on Monday was not the first time Bodo has been targeted. At the end of December, two suicide bombers blew themselves up at the entrance to the town. Officials said at the time that the bombers were trying to access the market but were stopped by local residents. No others were injured in that incident.
On 13 January, a suicide bomber killed 12 people and wounded at least one other in an attack on a mosque in Kouyape, northern Cameroon. Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria have all contributed troops to a regional offensive devoted to driving back Boko Haram, and the US has provided military supplies and troops for assistance.