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Official: Cameroon army kills over 100 Boko Haram fighters

Army deal 'severe setback' to armed group, state media report

Cameroon's military said on Tuesday that it had killed more than 100 Boko Haram fighters who traveled from Nigeria to attack a town just across the border, according to state media.

Citing a statement from the Communication Ministry, the outlet Cameroon Radio Television said that during the battle in Fotocol on Saturday the army fired mortars at the fighters and pushed them back into Nigeria. It said no Cameroonian soldiers were killed in the fighting.

The Cameroonian army dealt "a severe setback" to Boko Haram during clashes in the north of the country, government spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary said in a statement read on state radio.

Fotocol is just over the border from Nigeria's Borno state, the birthplace of the Boko Haram armed group and the region hardest hit by the group’s violent campaign to seize territory for an "Islamic caliphate."

Thousands of Nigerians have fled into Cameroon to escape the violence, but now the armed group is attacking towns in Cameroon, too.

Boko Haram fighters were pushed back toward the Nigerian border town of Gamboru Ngala – separated only by a footbridge from Cameroon – which they seized over a week ago, Agence France-Presse reported.

Meanwhile, panicked residents continued to flee their homes in northeast Nigeria on Monday in fear of attacks.

The exodus from Mubi, the commercial hub of Adamawa state, began on Sunday after the insurgents seized the town of Michika, around 25 miles away, the previous day.

Boko Haram has seized control of a number of other towns in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states in recent weeks, prompting fears the government could soon lose control of the entire region. The Nigerian military has appeared largely powerless to stop the militants' advance.

The United States last week said it was alarmed by reports that Boko Haram had captured the Borno town of Bama and the possibility of an attack on the state capital, Maiduguri, some 45 miles away.

The spokesman of the Roman Catholic diocese of Maiduguri, Gideon Obasogie, said he fled the town on Sunday.

"Thousands of others have also left Mubi for Yola for fear of attack. The Boko Haram militants are just capturing everywhere," he told Agence France-Presse.

Security fears prompted also the indefinite closure of the Adamawa State University in Mubi, according to a university statement. In October 2012, Boko Haram fighters were blamed for shooting dead at least 40 polytechnic students at their off-campus hostels in the town.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian military said it recaptured Bama in ground and air offensives, killing 50 insurgents in a battle near the town last weekend.

Independent confirmation was not immediately available and, in an audio message, a purported Boko Haram spokesman named Abu Zinnira rejected the claim.

Wire services

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