YAOUNDE (Reuters) - Cameroon’s army killed 116 Boko Haram militants on Wednesday when they attacked a base in the Far North region of the country, said defense ministry spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Didier Badjeck.
Militants ambushed a column of army vehicles using an improvised explosive device and then hundreds attacked in the region of Amchide, 65 km (40 miles) north of Maroua, at around 10.30 a.m. local time (0430 ET).
“The response of our forces was swift and appropriate. The attack was repulsed and the attackers neutralized,” Badjeck said on Thursday, adding that 116 militants died. One soldier was killed and at least two vehicles lost.
Boko Haram has killed hundreds of people this year, mostly in northeastern Nigeria, as it continues a campaign for an Islamist state.
Most of the killings have been in northeastern Nigeria, but the group has attacked other cities and stepped up cross-border incursions into Cameroon, prompting Cameroon to deploy troops to its northern region.
A senior official in Cameroon’s Far North region confirmed Wednesday’s attack and the toll and said it was followed by another attack overnight for which casualties are unknown.
The army determines death tolls either visually, or by counting the number of vehicles it destroys and estimating how many militants each vehicle carried, said the official, who declined to be identified.
Reporting by Tansa Musa and Anne Mireille Nzouankeu; Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Larry King