The wife of Cameroon's vice prime minister was kidnapped, and Boko Haram militants in the northern town of Kolofata killed at least three people in an attack on Sunday, Cameroon officials said according to a Reuters report.
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.
Boko Haram, the Nigerian Islamist militant group, has stepped-up cross border attacks into Cameroon in recent weeks, as Cameroon has deployed troops into 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. At least three people were killed in that attack.
A Cameroonian 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.
"The situation is very critical here now, and as I am talking to you, the Boko Haram elements are still in Kolofata town in a clash with our soldiers," said Colonel Felix Nji Formekong. He is the second commander of Cameroon's third inter-army military region, based in the regional headquarters of Maroua.
The Sunday attack is the third Boko Haram has carried out in Cameroon since Friday. At least four soldiers were killed in the previous attacks. Meanwhile, some 22 suspected Boko Haram militants who have been held in Maroua since March, were on Friday sentenced to prison sentences ranging from 10 to 20 years. It was unclear whether the events are related.