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Suicide blast in northern Cameroon kills 8

SUICIDE BLAST IN NORTHERN CAMEROON KILLS 8

At least eight people have been killed in a suicide attack in Cameroon's Far North Region, officials said Thursday.

The attack took place near the residence of the deputy prime minister Amadou Ali in the town of Kolofata on Wednesday, Midjiyawa Bakari, governor of the region told Anadolu Agency.

"The initial death toll of six civilians increased after two more persons succumbed to their injuries… at the hospital," Midjiyawa Bakari, governor of the region told Anadolu Agency.

He blamed the attack on Boko Haram -- a Nigerian militant group -- that has carried out attacks and kidnappings in Cameroon.

In 2014, heavily-armed Boko Haram fighters attacked Ali's residence during the month of Ramadan. His wife, some other members of his family and the then mayor of Kolofata were kidnapped during the attack.

Since then most residents have deserted the town and moved to Mora town near a military base.

Nigerian refugees fleeing the repeated Boko Haram attacks later returned to the violence-hit town.

The governor urged the refugees to leave the city.

"They [Nigerian refugees] have to leave Kolofata because it is not secure. We cannot set up a refugee camp near the border, it's dangerous," Bakari said on Monday during a visit to the city.

On Wednesday, Cameroon ministry of defense announced the recruitment of more than 7,000 gendarmes and military personnel as part of the fight against Boko Haram.

The country is part of a joint task force created by the Lake Chad Basin countries -- Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Benin -- that aims to eradicate the militant group that has so far killed more than 2,000 people in Cameroon, according to government officials.

Approximately 26 million people in the Lake Chad region have been affected by the Boko Haram violence and more than 2.6 million displaced, according to UN Refugee Agency.

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