YAOUNDE, Cameroon (AP) — Four suicide bombers attacked a market and town on Monday in Cameroon’s Far North region near the border with Nigeria, killing at least 28 people and wounding 65 others, officials said.
Two attackers targeted the market in Bodo and two others detonated explosives in town, said the region’s governor, Midjiyawa Bakari. The wounded have been taken to hospitals in Kousseri, he said.
“We have information the four bombers came from Nigeria. We are investigating where they spent the night before attacking the market,” Bakari said.
A Cameroon troop commander, Gen. Jacob Kodji, confirmed the attack and said Nigeria’s Islamic extremist group Boko Haram are suspected. He said some accomplices may still be in hiding.
“We have deployed soldiers to the area to assist the local defense group because we are informed a few fighters may have escorted them (the bombers) to Cameroon from Nigeria,” he said.
Suicide bombers are suspected to be crossing the border from Nigeria to stage their attacks, killing dozens in the region in the past month, officials said. On Jan. 18, a 14-year-old suicide bomber attacked a mosque in the region, killing four — the fifth attack on a mosque in Cameroon in less than a month.
Boko Haram militants began stepping up attacks early last year on neighboring Cameroon, Niger and Chad, countries contributing to efforts to crush Boko Haram.
Boko Haram joined the Islamic State group In March. On Monday, the IS-linked Amaq News Agency posted a message reporting suicide bombings in northern Cameroon, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadi websites. The message said the attacks on Bodo village targeted “gatherings of the militias allied with the army operating on the border with Nigeria.”
Boko Haram’s six-year insurgency has killed about 20,000 people and displaced 2.3 million, according to Amnesty International and the United Nations.