Attackers go door-to-door in predawn slaughter, say residents of Fotokol
Boko Haram fighters also opened fire on mosques, and killed worshippers and imam in the central mosque
Boko Haram insurgents killed scores of people Wednesday on the Nigerian-Cameroonian border, slitting throats and shooting victims, residents said.
The attackers moved door-to-door slaughtering people in the predawn raid on the town of Fotokol, according to witnesses, and opened fire on at least three mosques, including the central mosque, as worshipers said their morning prayers. They burned the central mosque after killing worshipers, including the imam.
The gunmen also moved along the streets shooting people heading to the mosque, residents said.
Several homes and vehicles were set ablaze in the attack, which started around 5:30 a.m.
Troops engaged the militants in a gun battle that lasted until 9 a.m. before the gunmen retreated.
A Chadian fighter jet pursued the fleeing attackers into the bush and dropped bombs on them, residents said. Troop reinforcements arrived in the town and moved into the bush in search of gunmen who survived the aerial bombing.
The gunmen are believe to be Boko Haram fighters who were pushed out of Gamboru-Ngala, Nigeria, in a ground offensive by Chadian and Cameroonian troops, along with fighters from other Boko Haram camps in northeast Nigeria.
The Nigerian-based radical Islamist group has been staging cross-border raids on Cameroon, including an attack on the villages of Mabass and Makxy on January 18 in which they kidnapped 80 people.
Chad’s parliament had voted, only two days before the kidnappings, to send troops to Cameroon and Nigeria to join in the fight against Boko Haram.