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U.S. Troops to Cameroon in Anti-Boko Haram Fight

by Reuters and NBC News /
Cameroon's army soldiers deploying as part of a reinforcement of its military forces against Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram. Boko Haram, which in April 2014 kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls in northeast Nigeria to international condemnation, has been waging a brutal, five-year insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives.
Cameroon's army soldiers deploying as part of a reinforcement of its military forces against Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram. Boko Haram, which in April 2014 kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls in northeast Nigeria to international condemnation, has been waging a brutal, five-year insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives.REINNIER KAZE / AFP - Getty Images

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The Obama administration says it expects to deploy about 300 U.S. service members to the African nation of Cameroon to help stop the spread of Boko Haram and other violent extremist groups.

Roughly 90 U.S. service members are already en route to Cameroon to conduct airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations in the region.

President Barack Obama notified House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in a letter and the White House released the letter Wednesday. U.S. personnel began deploying on Monday under an arrangement with the Cameroon government.

The U.S. troops will be armed to provide their own protection and security and will stay in Cameroon until they are no longer needed, the White House said on Wednesday.

Cameroon has been battling Boko Haram militants based in neighboring Nigeria. The group has vowed to retaliate against Cameroon for backing the Nigerian military's mission to defeat Boko Haram.

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