Cameroon + 3 more

Cameroon: Hundreds of Hostages Freed, 100 Boko Haram Killed

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Cameroon's military said Saturday that its forces had freed several hundred hostages and killed about 100 Boko Haram militants in a joint operation with Nigerian troops.

Military commanders said the combined force also had liberated the northeastern Nigerian town of Kumahe, near the Cameroonian border, during a three-day operation against the militant group.

The Reuters news agency quoted Cameroonian Communications Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary as saying two Cameroon soldiers had been killed and five others wounded.

There were no independent accounts to confirm the report, which came as U.S. envoys have been conferring with Nigerian military officials about the possible deployment of U.S. military advisers to the region.

A U.S. official told VOA on Friday that the talks were "ongoing" but that no decision had been made.

The New York Times reported Friday that a U.S. assessment team recommended the placement of dozens of noncombat advisers in the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, "to help Nigerian military planners carry out a more effective counterterrorism campaign."

The United States already has about 250 military personnel in Cameroon, most of them running a drone operation to monitor Boko Haram operations in the remote region.

Nigeria has struggled for nearly seven years to stop deadly raids and suicide bombings by Boko Haram Islamists, who say they want to create a strict Islamic state in northern Nigeria.

The group, which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State militant group, has also struck repeatedly in Cameroon, Niger and Chad.