Explosion in Cameroon’s Far North region kills at least 9

At least nine people have died and 30 others have been wounded in an explosion in the Cameroonian town of Fotokol on the northern border with Nigeria, a local official said.

« A young man picked up an explosive device thinking that it was a piece of iron and it exploded, killing him and eight others » said Midjiyawa Bakari, the governor of Cameroon’s Far North region.

Bakari said officials are investigating the origins of the explosive device, but it is certainly either from the military fighting Boko Haram extremists in the region or from the Islamic extremist group itself.

Full-scale battles have not been reported recently between the military and Boko Haram in the area, but officials have warned of the presence of landmines and abandoned or missing weapons.

Boko Haram’s decade-long insurgency began in northeastern Nigeria and has spilled across borders into Cameroon, as well as Niger and Chad. The group has killed tens of thousands of people, displaced millions and created one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises.

In recent years some fighters have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, creating a new threat.