Cameroon fires two army officers after Boko Haram raids

YAOUNDE Tue Jul 29, 2014 4:08pm EDT

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YAOUNDE (Reuters) - President Paul Biya on Tuesday dismissed two senior army officers in Cameroon's far north following Boko Haram attacks in which at least seven people were killed and the wife of a senior official was kidnapped.

Militants of the Nigerian Islamist group seized the wife of Cameroon's vice prime minister and killed at least three people on Sunday in an attack in the northern town of Kolofata involving more than 200 assailants. At least four soldiers were killed in two separate raids late last week.

According to the decree, announced over state radio, Colonel Youssa Gedeon, commander of the Gendarmerie Legion in the north, and Lieutenant-Colonel Justin Ngonga, commander of the 34th motorized infantry battalion in the same region, were both dismissed.

Both officers were at the forefront of Cameroon's response to the rising number of Boko Haram attacks in the region. Nigeria says the militants are using Cameroon as a rear base.

Cameroon has already introduced measures to increase security on its long, jungle border with Nigeria, deploying more than 1,000 soldiers, but has failed to stop the raids.

(Reporting by Tansa Musa and Bate Felix; Writing by Emma Farge, Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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