Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

'Where is the solidarity for Somalia?'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Liberia's presidential election: Results trickle in as observers give thumbs-up

Read more

THE DEBATE

France's Weinsteins: Watershed moment in fight against sexual abuse?

Read more

FOCUS

A shield and a target: France's anti-terrorism operation 'Sentinelle'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

#MeToo and #BalanceTonPorc expose extent of sexual harassment

Read more

ENCORE!

Musical maestro Philippe Jordan on bringing passion to the Paris Opera

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Black day for democracy': Malta in mourning after top journalist is murdered

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Has the Weinstein scandal 'freed' women from their silence?

Read more

THE DEBATE

Europe’s newest face: Kurz’s election win indicates rightward shift for Austria

Read more

Africa

Boko Haram kidnap Cameroon minister's wife in deadly attack

© AFP | Screen grab from Boko Haram video.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-07-28

A local traditional leader as well as relatives of Cameroon's vice prime minister were among people kidnapped by Nigerian Islamist militants Sunday in coordinated raids that left several people dead in the north of the country, officials said.

Suspected Boko Haram fighters launched twin attacks on the town of Kolofata in Cameroon's Far North province, 13 kilometres from the Nigerian border, around 5am (4am GMT).

"I can confirm that the home of Vice Prime Minister Amadou Ali in Kolofata came under a savage attack from Boko Haram militants," Camerooon's government spokesman Issa Tchiroma told Reuters by telephone. "They unfortunately took away his wife."

A Cameroon military commander in the region told Reuters that the vice prime minister, who was at home to celebrate the Muslim feast of Eid with his family, was taken to a neighbouring town by security officials.

"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, the second commander of the military region based in the regional headquarters Maroua, later on Sunday.

A local police officer confirmed to AFP that members of Amadou's family were abducted, without naming them.

Fighter jets called in

"Fighter jets were called in and there were air strikes in the area," the officer added.

A local religious sultan, or lamido, named Seini Boukar Lamine, who is also the town's mayor, was kidnapped  in a separate attack on his home.

"Four people were killed including the sultan's younger brother while he, his wife and his children were kidnapped," an aide to Lamine told AFP.

Boko Haram has stepped up cross-border attacks into Cameroon in recent weeks as the country has deployed troops to the region, joining international efforts to combat the militants.

The Nigerian Islamist militant group had previously used the border area of Cameroon as a refuge, kidnapping foreign visitors and trafficking arms and supplies there.

The Sunday attack is the third Boko Haram attack into Cameroon since Friday. At least four soldiers were killed in the previous attacks. Meanwhile, some 22 suspected Boko Haram militants, who have been held in Maroua since March, were on Friday sentenced to prison sentences ranging from 10 to 20 years. It was unclear whether the events are related.


In neighbouring Nigeria, a bomb attack on a Catholic church in the northern city of Kano killed five people and wounded eight on Sunday, police said.

A man was seen throwing the bomb at worshippers as they left the church after mass.

In a separate attack, also in Kano, a female suicide bomber detonated explosives near a university campus. She reportedly targeted policemen and wounded several of them.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)

Date created : 2014-07-27

  • The Debate

    Nigeria: One Hundred Days and Counting

    Read more

  • NIGERIA

    Malala seeks release of Nigerian schoolgirls

    Read more

  • NIGERIA

    Boko Haram claims Nigeria attacks and supports Iraqi militants

    Read more

COMMENT(S)