Cameroon is calling on its people living in two villages bordering Nigeria to return from their hideouts after two teenagers detonated explosives which killed at least 10 civilians.
The military says it has secured the area but residents claim that the villages have been invaded by Boko Haram terrorists.
Official Adamu Sidiki from the northern village of Blama Kamsoulou said through a messaging app that dozens of people have fled since Sunday night’s suicide bombing fearing the militia group.
According to Adamu, about 70 people have escaped to the bushes and nearest towns because they believe Boko Haram is making a powerful comeback.
He added that barely two weeks ago the terrorists killed at least 90 Chadian soldiers in the nearby Boma peninsula.
“It is high time Cameroon protected its citizens by redeploying its military to border zones that terrorists are again occupying,” he said.
Cameroon’s government said in a release on Monday that two male suicide bombers were spotted by civilians on Sunday near the Blama Kamsoulou village primary school.
The attackers rushed to the traditional ruler’s palace and detonated the bombs they were carrying when they noticed they were being monitored.
Secretary general of the Far North Region governor’s office, Roger Saffo said the blasts took lives of many residents.
“On the spot, there were nine people killed and 15 people wounded,” Saffo said. “I want to seize this opportunity to appeal to our population to be more vigilant, to be cautious, to collaborate with the forces of law and security.”
Saffo said the wounded were transported to a hospital in the nearby town of Mora where one person died.
Nine others are in critical condition.
Governor of the Far North region, Midjiyawa Bakary said he has ordered soldiers to deploy to the border villages that Boko Haram fighters have allegedly infiltrated.
According to Bakary, local vigilante committees should be reinforced immediately and civilians should work in collaboration with the militias to make sure both the military and administrative authorities are informed anytime strange people are found in their villages.
On March 24, Chad’s president, Idriss Deby, announced that 92 Chadian troops were killed in a Boko Haram attack that lasted several hours. He said 24 army vehicles were ndestroyed, and captured military arms were taken away in speedboats by Boko Haram.
Boko Haram has also renewed attacks on the Nigerian military, with the killing of at least 50 soldiers in an ambush near Goneri village in Nigeria’s northern Yobe state in March.
Cameroon has not reported a large-scale Boko Haram attack for the past two months, but the Islamist militant group invades the territory regularly for supplies or to kidnap citizens for ransom.