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How Boko Haram Littered Fotokol Mosques With Corpses 

By Yerima Kini Nsom

Boko Haram

Close to 1,000 Boko Haram terrorists stormed the border town of Fotokol in the Logone and Chari Division of the Far North Region on Wednesday, February 4, and killed almost all the Moslems that were in their Mosques at the time.

Military sources say the terrorists came at 5.00am, when Moslems were saying their morning prayers. In full-blown terror, the elements entered a Mosque known as the Goni Tidjanima Mosque and slaughtered 22 people. They carried out the same act in the Al Goni Moustapha and the Oustz Mahmat Adam Mosques where they killed Moslems, including the Imams.

After turning everyone in the Mosques into a corpse, The Post learnt, the terrorists hit the streets of Fotokol with the same violence. They killed everyone they met and reduced houses into ashes.According to a press release from the Minister Delegate at the Presidency of the Republic, Edgar Alain Mebe Ngo-o, issued on February 5, 81 civilians were killed in the barbaric act. The Minister said 13 Chadian soldiers and six Cameroonian soldiers died in a sustained battle that lasted many hours. The Minister said the number of deaths could eventually rise because many people were gravely wounded.

On Wednesday evening, the Minister of Communication, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, described the Fotokol incident, during a press conference, as a real tragedy. He said Boko Haram took Fotokol by storm that early morning with over 800 men. He said over 500 Boko Haram elements were killed in the battle.According to the French language bi-weekly, L’oeil du Sahel, that covers the Northern Regions, over 400 civilians were killed in Fotokol.

Given the difficulties in verifying information independently, there has been conflicting figures in the press and many other sources, as to how many people died in the Fotokol massacre. While the Minister of Communication said there were 800 Boko Haram elements involved in the battle, La Nouvelle Expression reported that they were 7,000 in number. Press reports hold that over 500 Boko Haram elements were killed but the Minister said only 50 were killed.

Going by military sources, Boko Haram struck with more sophisticated ammunition. It is reported that the terrorists were fighting with Libyan, Sudanese and Malian mercenaries. The Boko Haram elements struck after 2,000 Chadian soldiers flushed them out of their fief in the Nigerian border town of Gambaru last Monday, February 2. Before the Chadian army waded in a few weeks ago, Cameroon was practically the only country fighting against Boko Haram. The international community seems to have been procrastinating on joining the fight against the terrorist group. The meeting of the member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, that took place in Yaounde over the weekend, is likely to end the procrastination. It was resolved that a multinational military squad of 7,500 soldiers would be mounted to tackle Boko Haram from all angles.

Meanwhile, the insecurity situation is reported to have brought misery to civilians in Logone and Chari Division, especially in Fotokol and Kousseri. Trade, between Cameroon and Nigerian that many people depend on, has been halted. Food is scarce and expensive. A 30kg bag of rice that used to cost FCFA 18,000, now sells at FCFA 40,000 and farming has come to stop.

 

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