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General News of Thursday, 31 March 2016


Cameroon announces offensive to quash Boko Haram militants

Cameroon’s army began what it called a ‘final assault’ to push out Islamist militants from its northern border region with Nigeria following a spate of bombings earlier this year.

The operation involves deploying additional troops along the border and on roads used by militants to attack villages in the Far North region, while Nigeria is also reinforcing its border zone, Brigadier-General Jacob Kodji, a commander in the regional capital Maroua, said by phone late Tuesday.

In an unusual move, the offensive, code-named Operation Tentacle, was announced Tuesday in the state-owned newspaper Cameroon Tribune. Dozens of Cameroonians have died in attacks by the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram since the beginning of the year which included bombings by teenage girls with explosives strapped to their bodies.

Fewer attacks were registered this month “thanks to new equipment reinforcements from the U.S. and France, with drones and sophisticated armored vehicles as well as improvements in intelligence-gathering,” army spokesman Didier Badjeck said by phone Wednesday. “Victory is in sight,” he said.