Cameroon’s army killed 27 members of the Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram near a northern town, state radio said, in a sign of growing cross-border activity by the militants.
The Boko Haram fighters crossed the border into Cameroon earlier this week, after attacking a military base and police station in Nigeria, and apparently sending some 480 Nigerian troops retreating across the frontier. The Nigerian troops later gave up their arms and re-crossed the border back into Nigeria.
“Cameroon soldiers have killed 27 Boko Haram elements during an attack in a locality near Fotokol in the far-north,” state radio CRTV said, adding that the deaths occurred on Monday and Tuesday. There was no word on any Cameroonian casualties.
A Cameroonian soldier in the region said the militants had been pushed back into Nigeria, with calm returning to the area.
In recent weeks, Boko Haram, which is seeking to carve out a de facto Islamic state in northern Nigeria, has stepped up attacks in Cameroon, leading the central African country to increase deployments along its border.
President Paul Biya dismissed two senior army officers last month, following attacks in which at least seven people were killed and the wife of the vice prime minister was kidnapped.
Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, said in a video seen on Sunday that it controls the north-eastern Nigerian city of Gwoza and has added it to an Islamic state it claims to have established.
Nigeria’s army said on Twitter: “That claim is empty. The Nigerian state is still intact.”