Boko Haram blamed in abduction of Cameroonian official's wife

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Story highlights

  • Gunman storm deputy prime minister's house at 5 a.m., residents and officials say
  • They are thought to be Boko Haram Islamists
  • Area chief and his family are also abducted

Gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram Islamists on Sunday abducted the wife of the Cameroonian deputy prime minister in a dawn attack on his home village of Kolofata, north of the area where they also kidnapped a local chief and his family, residents and security sources said.

Heavily armed gunmen stormed the house of Ahmadou Ali around 5 p.m. and engaged security guards in a gunbattle.

"The sounds of gunfire woke the whole village and we later learned that the (deputy) prime minister's wife was taken away by the abductors, who killed some policemen in the gunfight," said resident Idrissa Moussa

"The gunmen are believe to be from Boko Haram from our neighbor Nigeria," Moussa said.

The gunmen also attacked the home of the traditional chief of Kolofata, Seiny Boukar Lamine, and abducted him and his wife and children, said another resident.

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Based on information from the chief's palace, his brother was shot dead in the attack.

A source told CNN six people, including two policemen, were killed in what he called "coordinated attacks."

"Fighter jets deployed in the area around the village this morning following the attack and carried out aerial bombings of some targets," said the source, who declined to give details.

Boko Haram, an Islamist group based in Nigeria, has increased raids into northern Cameroon. Military efforts to stop the group from stealing and killing have failed.

Two Cameroonian soldiers were killed on Thursday in the town of Balgaram in a Boko Haram attack that prompted the deployment of an elite Cameroonian force to the area to dislodge the Islamists.

Boko Haram established cells in several villages on the Cameroonian border with Nigeria after assaults on the insurgents by Nigerian troops in May 2013, locals said.

The group uses these hideouts to launch attacks on Nigeria, sacking entire villages and looting food supplies, a Nigerian security source said. He did not want to be identified.

Nigeria has expressed frustration with Cameroon for not doing enough to fight Boko Haram on its side of the border, a charge Cameroon has strongly denied.

Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon last week agreed to form a 700-person military unit to fight Boko Haram across their common borders.

In May, the four contiguous countries agreed to share intelligence and coordinate border security to tackle the Boko Haram threat.

READ: Nigerian police say they've arrested Boko Haram's "chief butcher"