• Cameroun has been strengthening its troop presence along the border with Nigeria

Cameroun air strikes on Nigerian militants

Cameroun has carried out its first air strikes against militant Islamist group Boko Haram, after it overran a military base and attacked five villages, officials have said.


The military repelled the coordinated attacks and regained control of the base, they added.

At least 41 militants and one soldier were killed, the officials said.

The Nigeria-based group is increasingly carrying out cross-border raids, threatening Cameroun's security.

The latest fighting was the most intense, lasting for three days along several fronts, reports the BBC's Jean-David Mihamle from Cameroun's capital Yaounde.

About 1,000 militants attacked five villages, including Amchide, and seized the nearby Achigachia military base, army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Didier Badjeck told Reuters news agency.

"After that, the head of state ordered the air force to carry out strikes. With the bombardment, the fighters were forced to decamp from Achigachia," he said.

In a statement, Cameroon's Information Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary said the multiple attacks showed that Boko Haram had adopted a new strategy aimed at "distracting Camerounian troops on different fronts, making them more vulnerable in the face of the mobility and unpredictability of their attacks".

At least 34 militants were killed after the army raided one of their bases in Cameroon, while another seven were killed in a separate clash which also claimed the life of a soldier, Mr Bakary said, Reuters reports.

The air strikes marked "a new escalation in the Cameroonian response... to multiple enemy attacks", he added, AFP News Agency reports.

Last week, Cameroon said it had dismantled a Boko Haram training camp on its territory, and had seized 84 children who were being trained there.


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