According to the Agence France-Presse (AFP), a suicide bomb attack left 13 dead in a mosque in northern Cameroon on Wednesday. The mosque was located in the Kolofata district which is near the country’s northern border with Nigeria. The attack is believed to have been carried out by Boko Haram.
The bombing comes after two people were killed Tuesday night in an attack in the same region. The suicide bombing occurred in the early hours of the morning, during the morning prayers. Speaking to the AFP the Governor of the region, Midjiyawa Bakari, confirmed the death toll.
“The provisional toll is 13 dead, including the suicide bomber, and one person who was seriously injured. The mosque was virtually reduced to ashes,” Governor Bakari stated.
The governor went on to warn the residents of the surrounding area to be on guard for any future attacks.
A security source informed the media that the imam of the mosque was among those killed in the attack.
Since July 2015, the northern part of Cameroon has been hit by a series of attacks believed to be committed by Boko Haram. The terrorist group expanded its area of operations into the country since Cameroon joined the regional Joint Task Force (JTF) dedicated to fighting Boko Haram last summer.
Beginning in late November of last year, the Cameroonian military began to carry out operations in the border areas where Boko Haram operates. These operations have managed to weaken the capacity of Boko Haram. However, the terrorist group has begun to target “soft” civilian targets instead of confronting the Cameroonian army directly.
The group has specifically targeted imams and traditional rulers, whom they believe hold views on Islam contrary to their own. In response to the uptick in attacks the Cameroonian government banned the Muslim veil in an effort to prevent suicide attacks. Boko Haram has become infamous for using women and young girls as their primary suicide bombers.
Since 2009, Boko Haram has killed an estimated 17,000 people. In 2014, it was ranked the world’s most deadly terrorist organization ahead of the Islamic State (IS).