At least 11 people were killed and 32 others were wounded in the pair of suicide bombings in the city of Maroua Wednesday afternoon, a statement on President Paul Biya’s website said. The attackers — described by security sources as two veiled female suicide bombers who’d been disguised as beggars — were also killed.
Biya “condemns in the strongest terms these cowardly and heinous attacks against innocent people,” the statement on his website said. “He extends his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and wishes a speedy recovery to the injured.”
Cameroon’s army uses Maroua, which is located in the country’s far North region near the border with Nigeria, as a command base to coordinate military operations against Boko Haram.
No one has claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s attacks. But the state-run Cameroon Radio Television said it’s believed the Islamist group was behind the bombings.
The Nigeria-based Boko Haram militant group has said its aim is to impose its version of Sharia law across Africa’s most populous nation, which is split between a majority Muslim north and a mostly Christian south.
The group has also intensified attacks in northern Cameroon, Chad and Niger in recent months. All three countries neighbor Nigeria and have been part of a stepped up offensive against Boko Haram.