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YAOUNDE, Cameroon — Cameroon has deployed some 1,000 troops and armored vehicles to its border region with Nigeria to counter a rising threat from Boko Haram Islamist militants, the Central African nation's defense ministry spokesman said Tuesday.
"Their mission will be to carry out reconnaissance and be ready to respond with enough fire power," Lt. Col. Didier Badjeck told Reuters by telephone from Yaounde.
Boko Haram, which outraged international opinion with the abduction of some 200 schoolgirls in northern Nigeria seven weeks ago, has also carried out attacks in northern Cameroon. It is suspected of attacking a Chinese workers camp there this month.
Last week, U.S. intelligence officials said there was “fragmentary evidence” that Boko Haram might be planning an attack on U.S. interests in Nigeria.
On Monday, a Nigerian official claimed that the military knows the whereabouts of the 276 schoolgirls and has ruled out using force to rescue them.
The official said that the military could not disclose the location.
U.S. military officials were quick to say that they could not confirm the report, and the Nigerian government has been under pressure to show progress in the hunt for the girls.