Boko Haram releases dozens of hostages in Cameroon

Boko Haram attacked a village in Cameroon early Sunday, highlighting the growing regional threat of the militant group. Some 80 houses were destroyed in the attack and upwards of 30 people are believed to have been abducted.

Reuters
A man holds a sign that reads "Stop Boko Haram" at a rally to support Chadian troops heading to Cameroon to fight Boko Haram Jan.17, 2015.

About 30 hostages abducted in Cameroon over the weekend by members of the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram have been released, Cameroon's military said Monday.

Military spokesman Col. Didier Badjeck said some of the more than 60 hostages taken had escaped, while others were freed after a gun fight between Boko Haram and the military. The extremists used some of the hostages as human shields, he said, adding that he did not know how many people were killed in the battles.

Boko Haram attacked Mabass village, in the Far North region of Cameroon, early Sunday and staged its largest kidnapping yet in Cameroon, according to the government. Information Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary said that 80 houses were destroyed in the attack and between 30 and 50 people were believed to have been abducted. The military spokesman Monday said it was over 60 people.

The attacks in Nigeria and Cameroon highlight the growing regional threat posed by Boko Haram. The militant group seeks to impose Islamic Shariah law in Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation at about 170 million. The group has occupied villages on about 250 kilometers of the border between Cameroon and Nigeria.

Sunday's attack occurred days after Cameroon President Paul Biya announced Chad would send "an important contingent" to support Cameroon's army as it tries to repel the extremists' intensifying offensive. Chadian troops began arriving Sunday in Cameroon, heading to the north, according to the information minister.

Biya had also called for international help to fight the terrorists. Boko Haram has been recruiting fighters in Cameroon, Chad and Niger, and the group recently issued a video threatening Biya.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.