YAOUNDE (Reuters) - Suspected Boko Haram militants from Nigeria attacked a town in Cameroon’s far north on Saturday but local security forces fought them off, killing at least two gunmen, Cameroon’s government said.
Nigeria has accused Cameroon of not doing enough to tackle Boko Haram, which grabbed global attention in April by kidnapping more than 200 girls from a school and has killed hundreds of civilians in northern Nigeria since then.
Cameroon recently deployed 1,000 troops to the far north and the attack in the Mayo Tsanaga Division in the Far North Region is the latest in a series of clashes between Cameroon security forces and the group.
Cameroon government spokesperson Issa Tchiroma Bakary said a raid was carried out early on Saturday morning by 50 well-armed gunmen believed to be members of Boko Haram.
“Our defense and security forces fought back immediately. (They) killed two of the assailants, seized one of their vehicles and a Kalashnikov war weapon, forcing them to run back crossing the border into the Nigerian territory,” he said.
He did not say if any government troops were killed or wounded in the fighting.
Boko Haram has waged a five-year campaign of attacks on civilians and security forces in northern Nigeria but the mass kidnapping of the girls in April focused world attention and drawn pledges of a regional coordinated push against them.
A number of Westerners have been kidnapped in Cameroon’s remote north over the last year but Yaounde has until now adopted a low-key response to the threat from across its long border with Nigeria.
Nigeria’s head of counter-terrorism said last month Cameroon was the weakest link in the regional fight against the group.
Cameroon security forces killed 40 militants in fighting a week ago, shortly after reinforcements were sent to the far north.
Reporting by Tansa Musa and Anne Mireille Nzouankeu; Writing by David Lewis, Editing by Angus MacSwan