Suicide bombings in Cameroon leave 143 wounded and at least 19 dead | News | DW | 03.09.2015
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Suicide bombings in Cameroon leave 143 wounded and at least 19 dead

Two suicide bombings at an army-camp town in northern Cameroon have claimed at least 19 lives. The town, Kerawa, is on the frontline of efforts to rid the border region of Boko Haram militants.

Cameroonian officials said the first explosion occurred at a morning market on Thursday. The second blast happened 200 meters away near a camp housing infantry troops. The number of wounded was put at 143.

One local government official quoted by Reuters said he had been told that the attackers were female bombers. The news agency AFP put the death toll higher at 30.

Cameroon is part of a five-nation coalition fighting Boko Haram, a radical Islamist group which has waged insurgency in neighboring northern Nigeria for six years and staged cross-border attacks.

The coalition includes Cameroon, Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Benin.

Kerawa in Cameroon's Far North region was the scene of clashes between Boko Haram militants and soldiers in February.

In July, suicide bombings in another Far North town, Maroua, claimed dozens of lives.

Gunmen on horseback

Thursday's bombings came three days after Boko Haram gunmen on horseback killed dozens of people in villages across the border in northeast Nigeria's Borno state.

AFP quoted witnesses as saying that Boko Haram militants had on Monday rounded up residents, tied their hands behind their backs then slit their throats.

Attackers on horses then pursued fleeing survivors, shooting and trampling them to death.

Refugees expelled

An official of Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency told Associated Press that at least 9,500 people, originally from Nigeria's Borno state, have been returned from Cameroon.

Last month, Cameroon said it would expel unregistered Nigeria refugees as part of the fight against Boko Haram.

The extremist group's insurgency has claimed at least 15,000 lives and displaced at least 1.5 million people over the past six years.

ipj/jm (AP, Reuters, AFP)

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