Boko Haram blamed in 23 Cameroon deaths

A screengrab taken on April 19, 2014  from a video shows a man claiming to be Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram.

Story highlights

  • Boko Haram fighters crossed the border into Cameroon and attacked a village
  • Local official cited death toll of 23,but had no other details
  • It is one of several attacks against Cameroon this year

(CNN)At least 23 people were killed in a Boko Haram attack in the Mozogo district in Cameroon's Far North Region, an official said.

The regional governor, Mijiyawa Bakary, confirmed the attack by the Nigeria-based Islamist militants, but did not give further details.
    "We are still gathering the facts from our divisional officers, but what we know for now is that the attackers killed at least 23 people. The damage could be more," he said.
    The attackers also burned down a village, security forces told CNN.
    A soldier on the front who did not want to be named told CNN by phone that the insurgents carried out a similar attack along the Waza-Mora highway on Friday, killing one Cameroonian soldier.
    The soldier said "a corporal was killed and three soldiers were wounded. The attackers also confiscated a (Toyota) Land Cruiser belonging to the Cameroon military."
    Earlier this month, the country's state-run broadcaster CRTV reported that 116 Boko Haram fighters and one Cameroonian soldier were killed during an attack that the militant group launched against a military column in northern Cameroon.
    And in May, Boko Haram militants kidnapped 10 Chinese road construction workers in Waza, just miles from the border with Nigeria, and killed one worker. The hostages were freed in October.
    Boko Haram has terrorized northern Nigeria regularly since 2009, attacking police, schools, churches and civilians, and bombing government buildings.
    The Islamist group -- considered one of the world's most deadly terrorist organizations -- has said its aim is to impose a stricter enforcement of sharia law across Nigeria, which is split between a majority Muslim north and a mostly Christian south.
    Increasingly, it has crossed into northern Cameroon, attacking military forces, as well as kidnapping foreign nationals. But there is no firm evidence the group has ambitions beyond Nigeria.