Bomb at Nige­rian mar­ket kills 24, ex­trem­ists at­tack Cameroon town

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY HARUNA UMAR

A bomb blast killed at least 24 peo­ple in north­east­ern Nige­ria and hun­dreds of fight­ers in­vaded a town across the bor­der in Cameroon in at­tacks Tues­day that wit­nesses and of­fi­cials blame on Boko Haram Is­lamic ex­trem­ists.

These are the latest in a string of bomb­ings and vil­lage raids that have killed hun­dreds in re­cent weeks as of­fi­cials prom­ise the de­ploy­ment of a re­gional army to halt the Nige­ri­an­born Is­lamic upris­ing that has killed some 20,000 in six years and spilled across the West African na­tion’s borders.

In Cameroon, troops re­pelled an at­tack on Ashi­gashia, killing 10 and forc­ing the in­sur­gents to re­treat, said mil­i­tary spokesman Col. Jaco Kodji. Two sol­diers were wounded but no civil­ians were re­ported in­jured, he said.

In the north­east­ern Nige­rian vil­lage of Sabon Gari, civil­ian de­fense vol­un­teers col­lected bod­ies and body parts of 24 peo­ple who died in an ex­plo­sion around mid­day, said the group’s spokesman Ab­bas Gava. Al­most all vic­tims are be­lieved to be traders at the mar­ket, Gava said.

A nurse at Biu hos­pi­tal 40 kilo­me­ters away said they re­ceived more than 20 bod­ies burned be­yond recog­ni­tion and are treat­ing 41 sur­vivors.

A re­gional army of 8,750 troops from five na­tions was sup­posed to be de­ployed in Novem­ber but has been de­layed. Nige­ria’s new Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari, who was in­au­gu­rated at the end of May, had pledged the force would be ac­tive by the end of July. De­lays have been blamed on fund­ing and un­easy re­la­tions be­tween Nige­ria and its neigh­bors.

The U.S. “strongly con­demns” the at­tack on the mar­ket and be­lieves “the eo­ple of north­ern Nige­ria de­serve to live free from vi­o­lence and from terror,” State Depart­ment spokesman John Kirby said in a state­ment. Kirby said the U.S. would con­tinue to pro­vide a range of counter-ter­ror­ism as­sis­tance to help Nige­ria and its re­gional part­ners fight against Boko Haram.

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