DOUALA, Cameroon – Suspected Boko Haram militants sprayed a village in remote Cameroon with automatic fire, killing 15 people and kidnapping eight others in an overnight raid near the Nigerian border, several officials said on Friday.
The attackers burned down around 30 houses in Gakara village, just outside the town of Kolofata, which has been a frequent target of suicide bombings by the Islamist group.
A government source on the ground said that 15 people had been killed, all shot dead except one who was burned alive, while another 30 had suffered bullet wounds. The mayor of Kolofata and a senior military source confirmed that an attack had taken place but did not know the death toll.
Boko Haram attacks have killed more than 20,000 people and displaced 2.7 million during the group’s eight-year insurgency to carve out an Islamic caliphate in the Lake Chad region.
“The attack happened around midnight. The Boko Haram assailants arrived. They set 32 houses on fire … killed, pillaged, and traumatised the population,” said a district official, who asked not to be named because he was not authorised to speak.
Many people fled the village for a camp near Kolofata that houses thousands displaced by Boko Haram violence, he said.