Suicide attack in northern Cameroon kills 5 civilians

YAOUNDÉ (AFP) - A suicide bomber killed five villagers in the far north of Cameroon, near the border with Nigeria, where Islamist groups regularly carry out attacks, local officials said on Sunday (Sept 13).

"Terrorists" attacked the village of Zeleved on Friday evening, a local security officer told AFP, requesting anonymity.

Cameroon officials refer to members of the Nigeria-based militant group Boko Haram as well as the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) as "terrorists".

The five locals killed were aged between 10 and 70 years old, included the village chief.

Mr Boukar Medjeweh, the mayor of Mozogo in the same region, confirmed that five people had been killed.

Attacks in this border region have become increasingly frequent in recent months, as they have all around the Lake Chad region along the Nigeria-Chad and Nigeria-Niger borders.

Friday's attack came six weeks after another assault in the same region on a camp for people at Nguetchewe who had already been forced to flee their homes by the violence. Two young suicide bombers killed 18 people and wounded another 15.

Boko Haram's deadly campaign began in 2009 in the north-east of Nigeria before spreading to neighbouring countries including Cameroon, Niger and Chad.

The ensuing conflict has claimed more that 36,000 lives, most of them in Nigeria, and forced three million people to flee their homes to escape the violence, according to the UN.

In 2016, a split in the ranks of Boko Haram led to the creation of ISWAP.

Security experts say ISWAP is extending its grip and influence around Lake Chad, a vast, marshy area.