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Cameroon launches airstrikes against Boko Haram, regains control of military base

The airstrikes were ordered by Cameroonian President Paul Biya and followed three days of intense fighting by the Nigeria-based militants that included attacks on six villages.

By JC Finley
Cameroon launches airstrikes against Boko Haram, regains control of military base
Cameroon's President Paul Biya, pictured in August, ordered airstrikes against Boko Haram militants who had seized a Cameroonian military base on Dec. 28, 2014. UPI/Mike Theiler | License Photo

YAOUNDE, Cameroon, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Cameroon launched airstrikes Sunday against Boko Haram militants who had overrun a military base in the country's north.

According to a statement released Monday by Cameroon's Ministry of Defense, the airstrikes targeted militants who had seized the base in Ashigashiya.

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"The assailants attacked us from all fronts. We used airstrikes [at Ashigashiya] because we had identified the enemy at a particular geographical location and this permitted us to gain in mobility and time," Army spokesman Lt. Col. Didier Badjeck said Monday.

Badjeck told the BBC the military had regained control of the base, where Boko Haram had raised its black flag. "Now the area is totally secured."

The airstrikes were ordered by President Paul Biya and followed three days of intense fighting by the Nigeria-based militants that included attacks on six villages. The violence left approximately 40 people, mostly villagers, dead and forced thousands to flee.

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