* Attack took place on Friday night, heavy gun fight
* Reports of at least one killed, 10 others unaccounted for
* West African leaders meet in Paris to discuss Boko Haram
(Adds details, quotes from Paris summit)
By Tansa Musa
YAOUNDE, May 17 Suspected Boko Haram rebels from
Nigeria have attacked a Chinese work site in northern Cameroon,
killing at least one Cameroonian soldier and at least 10 people
are believed to have been abducted, the regional governor and
Cameroon state radio said.
The Chinese embassy in Yaounde confirmed the attack on
Friday at a site near the town on Waza, 20 km (12 miles) from
the Nigerian border close to the Sambisa forest, a Boko Haram
The Islamist group kidnapped more than 200 girls from a
school on the Nigerian side of the border last month and
Nigerian troops backed by foreign units are searching the area
around the forest for them.
Friday's incident began when power was cut in the evening. A
five-hour gunfight followed, a guard at the Waza National Park
"Some of us decided to hide in the forest with the animals,"
the guard said, requesting anonymity.
The governor of Cameroon's Far North Region, Augustine Fonka
Awa, said he believed Boko Haram had carried out the attack.
Authorities are investigating reports that at least one Cameroon
soldier was killed and 10 people were abducted, he said.
Cameroon state radio said a Cameroon special forces soldier
was killed. It said four others including two soldiers were
The assailants took away 10 vehicles, two trucks and a
container of explosives belonging to the Chinese company, the
radio said in a report from the region.
In a meeting in Paris on Saturday to improve cooperation in
the fight against Boko Haram and other militant groups, French
President Francois Hollande said it was becoming a threat to all
of West and Central Africa
Boko Haram has staged several attacks in northern Cameroon
during its five-year fight to set up an Islamist state. Last
month, it attacked a police post killing two people. The rebels
kidnapped a French family in February 2013.
The Chinese embassy suspended visits to the area.
"For companies operating in the northern part of Cameroon
in particular, they should instantly start security contingency
plans," the embassy said in a statement.
At least two Chinese enterprises operate in the region.
Xinhua said an engineering unit of state-run construction
company Sinohydro, which is repairing roads, operated the camp.
Yan Chang Logone Development Holding Company, a subsidiary
of China's Yanchang Petroleum, is exploring for oil.
Cameroon's president, Paul Biya, who is attending the Paris
summit, said Boko Haram was becoming not only a regional
problem, but also a Western one. Two Italian priests and a
Canadian nun were kidnapped in April.
"They have committed one more attack. They attacked
businessmen and this comes after the French hostages were
kidnapped. As we speak, we are searching for the Italian priests
and Canadian nun," Biya said.
Nigerian authorities say Cameroon has not done enough to
secure its border because Boko Haram has been using the
sparsely populated Far North Region as a transit route for
weapons and as a base for attacks in northeastern Nigeria.
Cameroon said in March it would send 700 soldiers to the
border as part of regional efforts to tackle the armed group.
Outrage over the kidnapping of the schoolgirls has prompted
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, criticised at home for his
government's slow response, to accept U.S., British and French
intelligence help in the hunt for the girls.
(Additional reporting by Anne-Mireille Nzouankeu in Yaounde,
Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Bate Felix in Abuja; Chen Aizhu in
Beijing and John Irish in Paris; Writing by Bate Felix; Editing
by Angus MacSwan and Alison Williams)