Cameroon has launched air strikes against Boko Haram terrorists for the first time, killing no fewer than 41 Islamist militants after the large force of jihadists crossed the border and seized a military camp at Ashigashiya, the government said.
Cameroon’s Minister of Information, Issa Tchiroma in a statement in Yaounde, yesterday, said the coordinated assaults on five towns and villages showed a change in tactics by Boko Haram fighters, who have focused on hit-and-run raids on individual settlements in the past.
He said: “Boko Haram’s campaign to carve out an Islamist caliphate has spread from its stronghold in North-East Nigeria to neighbouring Cameroon, raising fears for an already unstable region also threatened by Islamist militants in the Sahel.
He added that Cameroon has sent thousands of soldiers to its Far North region to fight off the militants and said it launched air attacks on the movement for the first time on Sunday.
According to him, “Units of the Boko Haram group attacked Makari, Amchide, Limani and Achigachia in a change of strategy which consists of distracting Cameroonian troops on different fronts, making them more vulnerable in the face of the mobility and unpredictability of their attacks.
Biya orders deployment of war planes
In another statement, Cameroon’s Communications Minister, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, said the country’s president, Paul Biya, personally ordered deployment of war planes on Sunday which forced the insurgents to flee the camp.
According to Bakary, “Fighter planes went into action for the first time since the start of the conflict on the Cameroonian side of the frontier, after several months of deadly cross-border Boko Haram raids.