Four people died in an attack Wednesday night in northern Cameroon, after a suspected bomber detonated his explosive device in the Boko Haram stronghold of Djakana, near the Nigerian border.
Authorities told AFP that the bomber planned to attack the Thursday market in Mora. Both cities have been frequent targets of the regional Islamist group that now refers to itself as the West Africa Province of Islamic State.
Despite some military success against it, the jihadist group still operates in Cameroon, Chad and Niger, in addition to large swaths of northern Nigeria. A multinational force drawn from all four countries, as well as Benin, is headquartered in Mora.
“Before Boko Haram allied with the Islamic State, it did carry out cross-border attacks outside their core territory of north eastern Nigeria,” said analyst Matthew Henman, head of IHS JTIC, in a press release. “But since 2015, the number of cross-border operations rose dramatically as the group retaliated against the West African coalition fighting to defeat them.”
Last month, Boko Haram appointed Abu Musab al-Barnawi as a rival commander to Abubakar Shekau. Their respective factions have since clashed, the Wall Street Journal reports, which may influence how the group continues its struggle in the West Africa region.