4, June 2017
Authorities in northern Cameroon say two girl bombers have attacked a camp for those displaced by Boko Haram violence, leaving 11 people dead.
The dead included the young bombers, who detonated their explosives at the camp in Kolofata, said Gov. Midjiyawa Bakari of the Far North region. Several dozen others were wounded, the governor added.
Authorities believed the girls had entered Cameroon the night before from neighboring Nigeria, where Boko Haram has killed more than 20,000 people in its eight-year insurgency that has spread into neighboring countries.
Northern Cameroon has seen a rise in such attacks, with some towns targeted repeatedly.
In January 2016, two female bombers attacked a mosque in Kolofata, killing at least 10 people. In September 2015, bombers killed nine people there.
Boko Haram is known for kidnapping girls and using children to carry out bomb attacks. In April, the UN children’s agency (UNICEF) said at least 117 attacks had been carried out by youth in the Lake Chad basin region since 2014, with nearly 80 percent of the bombs strapped to girls. They are sometimes drugged before missions.
The Takfiri terrorist group two years ago began attacking in neighboring countries that have supported the Nigerian military’s efforts to counter it. A multinational force is now active in the region.
In December 2016, Nigeria declared that Boko Haram had been “crushed” after the military cleared out its strongholds, but attacks have continued.
UNICEF on Friday said Cameroon had been hosting 96,000 registered Nigerian refugees since mid-May, but many were returning. More than 12,000 went back last month.
Many, however, are sleeping in the open just inside the border as “most returnees are still unable to travel onwards to their home villages, where security remains uncertain,” the agency said.