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Suspected Boko Haram massacre in Cameroon town

Reports from Cameroon say Boko Haram insurgents from Nigeria have killed scores of residents in the border town of Fotokol. Chad says its troops had pursued jihadists into Nigeria's town of Gamboru, killing 200.

Fotokol residents said as many as 100 people had been killed in a local mosque and homes early on Wednesday when Boko Haram fighters entered the town from Gambaru via a border bridge.

Many of the dead in Fotokol were found with their throats slit, said Cameroon's L'Oeil du Sahel newspaper.

Cameroon's Information Minister Issa Tchiroma declined to comment on the reported massacre, while defense spokesman Didier Badjeck said the death toll was not known.

Chad's news website al-Wihda said Chadian forces had pursued Boko Haram members by crossing into Nigeria and killing 200 of them at Gambaru and Ngala in Borno state. Nine Chadian soldiers had died.

The pursuit followed a Boko Haram attack on a military base of the Multinational Joint Taskforce along Nigeria's border with Cameroon.

The taskforce comprises Chad, Niger, and Nigeria and precedes a proposed regional force of 7,500 troops authorized last week by the African Union to fight Boko Haram.

Chad carried out airstrikes on insurgent positions in recent days.

Nigeria holds a presidential election on February 14. Its military has been widely criticized for failing to rein in the insurgents and their murderous hold on 130 villages and towns in northeastern Nigeria.

Nigerian defense spokesman Chris Olukolade said on Tuesday that Nigeria's sovereignty was not compromised by the presence of Chadian troops, because all units were working in cooperation.

ipj/bk (dpa, AFP, Reuters)

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