Media reports and accounts from witnesses in northern Cameroon say at least 13 people have been killed in an attack by Boko Haram fighters. Government officials say at least three attackers were also killed in the fighting.
Communication Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary said Boko Haram fighters attacked the village of Bordo, located on the border with Nigeria's Borno State, early Tuesday and that the fierce fighting lasted about five hours. He said the bodies of three suspected Boko Haram fighters were found on Cameroonian territory, but that the attackers escaped to Nigeria with the bodies of several more fighters killed in the battle.
"As it is we do not have all the facts on the exact circumstances of this attack," the minister explained. " Nevertheless, we can indicate that our defense and security forces vigorously retaliated against this barbaric attack and forced the attackers to retreat.”
Tchiroma said Cameroon's military seized a large quantity of weapons from the attackers and destroyed their vehicles. He assured Cameroonians the military will secure the border region.
"Allow me to restate to our population and the international community the relentless commitment to defend the territorial integrity of Cameroon and to protect all women and men as well as their property," he said.
It was the second armed attack on Cameroon since the Nigerian extremist group went on the run in early February this year following a Chad, Cameroon and Nigeria joint military offensive against the terrorists. On March 3, Boko Haram militants took revenge on civilians in northern Cameroon, burning scores to death and razing mosques and churches.
The militant group, which has aligned itself with the radical Islamic State group in the Middle East, seeks the establishment of an Islamic state in Nigeria.