Cameroon reinforces border security after Boko Haram attack

Suspected members of Boko Haram sect after being rounded up by the police in the northern Nigerian city of Kano on July 27, 2009. Neighbouring Cameroon is anxious these elements don't infiltrate the country. Photo | FILE 

Cameroon has reinforced security on its northern frontier with Nigeria following an attack by Boko Haram militants near the Cameroonian town of Amchidé.

The attack which took place in the early hours of April 11 left 15 people dead including two Nigerian policemen. Thirteen of the dead were members of an anti-Boko Haram vigilante group from the Nigerian side.

According to Albert Friki, the senior administrative officer under whose jurisdiction Amchidé falls, a security cordon of policemen, the gendarmerie and the rapid intervention battalion of the army has been deployed along the frontier “to deter the assailants from seeking refuge within our borders”.

A gendarme who witnessed the Boko Haram attack told Africa Review on telephone that the only casualty on the Cameroonian side of the border was a student whose father is a Chadian resident in Nigeria and the mother is of Nigerian nationality resident in the Chadian capital Ndjamena.

The student had been attending the Amchidé government secondary school on the Cameroon side. They boy reportedly was shot accidentally while returning from school.

Schools closed

Several of the Nigerians wounded in the attack have reportedly been admitted into Cameroonian hospitals in Amchidé, Limani and Kolofata.

Amongst them is a pastor who was seriously burnt when his church was set on fire by the Boko Haram extremists.

“As a security measure, all schools on the Cameroonian side of the border have been closed for now,” Mr Friki announced.

“Several Nigerian children attend schools on our side of the frontier. It is hoped that the schools here will be reopened on Monday April 16 if there are no further attacks.”

According to the administrative officer, Cameroonian lives had not been threatened during the attack as the Boko Haram elements carefully checked the identities of all individuals they encountered and those identified as Cameroonians were allowed to cross to the Cameroonian side of the frontier unhurt.

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