Around 12 people were reportedly kidnapped by unidentified gunmen in the Far North region on Wednesday, August 21. According to media reports, the incident occurred on the National Highway 1 near Dabanga, when gunmen boarded a public transportation bus and forced its passengers into their vehicle. Security forces have launched a search operation to locate the victims. Details are still emerging and government officials have not publicly confirmed the abductions.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.
A heightened security presence and associated transportation disruptions are to be expected in the region in the coming days as police conduct the investigation. Similar attacks are possible over the near term.
Although the regional counterinsurgency effort against Boko Haram that began in 2015 - led by West African states Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, and Niger - has greatly diminished the extent of their effective territorial control, the group continues to routinely carry out deadly terrorist attacks. Boko Haram's stronghold remains in northeastern Nigeria, and the majority of its activities are concentrated in this area. However, the Far North region of Cameroon, especially areas along the border with Nigeria, also regularly experiences attacks; the group's presence in the Far North dates back to at least 2011.
Individuals in the Far North are advised to monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant for criminal activity, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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