The wife of Cameroon's vice prime minister was kidnapped and at least three people were killed in an attack by Boko Haram militants in the northern town of Kolofata on Sunday, Cameroon officials said. A local religious leader, or lamido, named Seini Boukar Lamine, who is also the town's mayor, was kidnapped as well, in a separate attack on his home.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Boko Haram, the Nigerian Islamist militant group, has stepped up cross-border attacks into Cameroon in recent weeks as Cameroon has deployed troops to the region, joining international efforts to combat the militants.
"I can confirm that the home of Vice Prime Minister Amadou Ali in Kolofata came under a savage attack from Boko Haram militants," Issa Tchiroma told Reuters by telephone.
"They unfortunately took away his wife. They also attacked the lamido's residence and he was also kidnapped," he said, and at least three people were killed in the attack. A Cameroon military commander in the region told Reuters that the vice prime minister, who was at home to celebrate the Muslim feast of Ramadan with his family, was taken to a neighboring town by security officials.
Boko Haram have kidnapped and killed hundreds of people this year, mostly in northeastern Nigeria, although they have bombed places across the country.
First published July 27 2014, 9:06 AM