Boko Haram kidnaps wife of Cameroon’s vice-prime minister

Local religious leader also kidnapped by militants in town of Kolofata

Soldiers deployed in Dabanga, northern Cameroon, as part of a reinforcement of military forces against Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram. Photograph:  Reinnier Kaze/AFP/Getty Images

Soldiers deployed in Dabanga, northern Cameroon, as part of a reinforcement of military forces against Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram. Photograph: Reinnier Kaze/AFP/Getty Images

 

The wife of Cameroon’s vice-prime minister was kidnapped and at least three people were killed in an attack by Boko Haram militants in the northern town of Kolofata yesterday, Cameroon officials said.

A local religious leader named Seini Boukar Lamine, who is also the town’s mayor, was kidnapped as well, in a separate attack on his home. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Boko Haram, the Nigerian Islamist militant group, has stepped up cross-border attacks into Cameroon in recent weeks as Cameroon has deployed troops to the region, joining international efforts to combat the militants.

A Cameroon military commander in the region said the vice-prime minister, who was at home to celebrate the Muslim feast of Ramadan with his family, was taken to a neighbouring town by security officials.

Clash with our soldiers

“The situation is very critical here now, and as I am talking to you the Boko Haram elements are still in Kolofata town in a clash with our soldiers,” said Col Felix Nji Formekong, the second commander of Cameroon’s third inter-army military region, based in the regional headquarters Maroua.

Yesterday’a attack is the third Boko Haram attack into Cameroon since Friday. At least four soldiers were killed in the previous attacks. Meanwhile, some 22 suspected Boko Haram militants, who have been held in Maroua since March, were on Friday sentenced to prison sentences ranging from 10 to 20 years. It was unclear whether the events are related. – (Reuters)