Boko Haram militants have kidnapped 135 people and killed at least eight others in a raid in northern Cameroon, as the terrorist group continued to strike beyond their strongholds in neighbouring Nigeria.
The insurgents, according to sources, also shot dead nine fishermen in a village near the shores of Lake Chad in northeastern Nigeria, amid heightened violence region-wide since Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s was sworn in May.
More than 800 people have been killed in just two months in a surge of Boko Haram attacks, which began after Buhari took office on a pledge to defeat the militants.
Cameroon, which is part of a regional force fighting the militants, has been the target of some of the deadly assaults.
The latest raid took place before dawn on Tuesday in the village of Chakamari in a region of Cameroon known as the Extreme North.
It came as Guinea offered help in the regional fight against Boko Haram whose bloody insurgency in Nigeria has increasingly spread to neighbouring states.
“Men from Boko Haram attacked our neighbours in the village of Chakamari overnight Monday-Tuesday. They killed eight people, two women and six men,” a member of a vigilante group in a neighbouring village told AFP on Wednesday.
The vigilante, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the attackers torched many homes before making off with the hostages.
He said a total of 135 people had been abducted.
A police source confirmed the death toll and the number of those kidnapped.
Cameroon has been hit in the areas of Fotokol and Maroua by five suicide bombings in recent weeks, some of them carried out by women and girls.
Boko Haram’s bloody insurgency has left more than 15,000 people dead since 2009.
The fishermen killed near Lake Chad were headed for the fishing town of Baga on Tuesday when the militants stopped their van, dragged them out and shot them.
“They dashed into the road when they heard us approaching. Our driver managed to turn back and headed to Monguno,” Grema Ari, who was in a second vehicle and survived, told AFP on Wednesday.