Boko Haram Kidnaps Cameroon Vice Prime Minister’s Wife in “Savage Attack”

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Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 27 2014 11:55 AM

Boko Haram Kidnaps Cameroon Vice Prime Minister’s Wife in “Savage Attack”

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Nigeria's Boko Haram extends attacks across border into Cameroon.

Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/GettyImages

The Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram continued their reign of terror, this time crossing into Cameroon to stage an attack and kidnapping the wife of Cameroon’s vice prime minister. Cameroonian officials described the group’s cross-border offensive as “a savage attack” that targeted Vice Prime Minister Amadou Ali’s home. Ali, however, “was breaking his fast for the Islamic holy month of Ramadan at the time of the attack, managed to escape to a neighboring town,” a Cameroonian commander in the region told Reuters. The mayor of the town, Kolofata, was also abducted.

Boko Haram "has stepped up cross-border attacks into Cameroon in recent weeks as Cameroon has deployed troops to the region, joining international efforts to combat the militants,” according to Reuters. This is the third attack carried out by the group in Cameroon in as many days. Previously, the group has abducted foreign nationals in northern Cameroon, including 10 Chinese workers in May. "The situation is very critical here now, and as I am talking to you the Boko Haram elements are still in Kolofata town in a clash with our soldiers," said Colonel Felix Nji Formekong told Reuters.

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Boko Haram has intensified its campaign against the Nigerian government of late, staging repeated attacks in northeastern Nigeria, including the mass abduction of hundreds of schoolgirls earlier this year.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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