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Five jihadists, two soldiers killed in Cameroon clash

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A Cameroonian soldier stands guard at an observation post on a hill in the Mandara Mountain chain in Mabass overlooking Nigeria, northern Cameroon, February 16, 2015. Boko Haram militants kidnapped some 80 people from the village on January 18, according to the Cameroon army. Picture taken February 16, 2015. REUTERS/Bate Felix Tabi Tabe (CAMEROON – Tags: CONFLICT CIVIL UNREST POLITICS MILITARY)


Five rebels and two soldiers were killed early Tuesday when jihadists crossing from Nigeria attacked a military position in northern Cameroon, sources said.

The overnight attack took place at Soueram, a village close to the Nigerian border in Cameroon’s Far North region, an army colonel and a local official told AFP.

“Two Cameroonian soldiers were killed” in the assault, while five jihadists died in the counter-attack, the colonel said.

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He attributed the attack to Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), a splinter group of Nigeria’s Boko Haram, which has led a bloody 11-year campaign against perceived western influence.

An army vehicle was destroyed and the jihadists made off with a piece of heavy weaponry, he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A local leader, who also asked not to be identified, confirmed the attack and the toll, adding that there were no civilian casualties.

The Far North is an impoverished tongue of land that lies between Chad to the east and Nigeria to the west.

The province has been hit since 2014 by jihadists making incursions from northeast Nigeria.

The Boko Haram campaign has killed more than 27,000 people since 2009, several thousand of them in Cameroon, and displaced more than two million, sparking a dire humanitarian crisis in the Lake Chad region.

According to Amnesty International, at least 275 people were killed in the Far North last year.

Boko Haram split into two factions in 2016 — a historic branch led by Abubakar Shekau, and a splinter faction, ISWAP, which has claimed loyalty to the so-called Islamic State group.

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