The Cameroonian military forces saved hundreds of hostages held by Boko Haram in a border town, along with Nigerian troops on Saturday. About 100 militants have been killed in the joint military offensive. Many of the hostages were young girls, who were being trained as suicide bombers.
“Our boys are still on the field with Nigerian soldiers and have received instructions to continue raids on all Boko Haram border villages until we defeat them,” the Wall Street Journal quoted Gen. Jacob Kodji as saying.
Kumshe, the town in which the militants were killed, is 9 miles from the border with Cameroon. The rescue operations lasted three days and led to deaths of two Cameroon soldiers and five others.
“Two Cameroonian soldiers were killed (during the operation) by an accidental mine explosion. Five other soldiers were wounded,” the Reuters quoted Cameroonian Communications Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary as saying.
The reports of the offensive came at a time when the US envoys were in discussion with the Nigerian military officials about a possible deployment of US military advisers to the region.
“At the request of the Nigerian government, the SOCAFRICA (Special Operations Command Africa) component of USAFRICOM conducted a preliminary assessment regarding the feasibility of resuming a limited advise-and-assist mission alongside select Nigerian units,” the United States Africa Command said in a statement, as quoted by the Reuters.
The proposals are still pending approval from various government departments and military officials. Earlier, the New York Times reported that according to the recommendations of the US assessment team, the noncombat advisors can be based in the Borno state capital of Maiduguri. The city, located to Nigeria’s north-east, was targeted by Boko Haram suicide bombers last month.
“There is an urgent need to prevent Boko Haram from regenerating and possibly coming back more virulent, destructive, and globally connected than before,” Jennifer Cooke, Africa Program Director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Nigeria has been combating the Boko Haram for nearly seven years, during which the militant group carried out several attacks and suicide bombings with the aim to establish an Islamic State in Nigeria.