Yaound -The Cameroonian army killed 143
Boko Haram fighters who attacked a
military base in the northern town of
Kolofata on Monday, in what the
government said was the militants’ heaviest
loss yet on its territory.
One Cameroonian soldier also lost his life in
the clashes, Communications Minister and
government spokesman Issa Tchiroma
Bakary said in a statement read out on
television and radio.
The toll was “the heaviest loss yet” suffered
by Boko Haram on Cameroonian soil, he
said, and comes at a time of fears of
increased cross-border raids by the Nigeria-
based group into Cameroon, Chad and
The spokesperson said the attack began in
the early hours when “several hundred”
Islamist fighters took advantage of thick
fog to cross over from Nigeria and tried to
storm the town’s military base, where an
elite army unit is stationed.
Intense fighting erupted near the base,
lasting for more than five hours before the
attackers fled back towards the border, the
spokesman said, adding that the army had
seized a significant arsenal of heavy
weaponry from the militants.
A local source said residents fled “as soon
as people heard the first gunfire” in the
The attack on Kolofata comes after the
group’s leader Abubakar Shekau vowed last
week in a YouTube message to hit back at
Cameroon for sending warplanes into
action against the fighters in December
after they seized a military camp.
Monday’s offensive was the first by Boko
Haram on the town since the army’s elite
Rapid Intervention Battalion was deployed
to defend the area after deadly attacks in
Several people were killed in an attack on
Kolofata in July and 27 people, including the
wife of a deputy prime minister, were held
hostage for several weeks by the militants.