Cameroon Claims to Have Liberated Nigerian Boko Haram Stronghold
Cameroon says its soldiers have liberated the northeastern Nigerian town of Goshi from Boko Haram and handed it to the Nigerian government. A spokesman for the government of Cameroon said more than 160 Boko Haram fighters were killed and hundreds of hostages, both Cameroonian and Nigerian, freed.
Cameroon Communications Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary said between February 11 and 14, Cameroon’s military launched raids on Goshi, where intelligence reports indicated Boko Haram fighters were running training camps and bomb factories. He said the terrorists were also training teenagers, especially girls, and brainwashing them to be suicide bombers. Cameroon obtained the approval of Nigeria to free Goshi from the insurgents.
“During this victorious assault 162 Boko Haram terrorists were neutralized, four artisan mine factories were dismantled, a previously identified training center was set ablaze, war weapons seized. The operation led by Cameroon special forces also led to the release of hundreds of people held hostage by Boko Haram. Several Nigerian hostages were also freed,” said Bakary.
The spokesman said Cameroon lost two soldiers in the battle, adding that Nigerian troops celebrated the victory with Cameroon troops who have now left Goshi, a town 15 kilometers from Cameroon’s border with Nigeria.
Regional forces from Cameroon, Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Benin have been launching raids on Boko Haram strongholds along the border since last year.
According to the United Nations and Amnesty International, Boko Haram’s 6 year insurgency has killed over 20 000 people, and displaced 2.5 million people.