Large numbers of suspected Boko Haram militants attacked the predominantly Christian villages of Gochi and Toufou in north Cameroon, on 24 January.
The raids came in the middle of the night, overwhelming the soldiers on guard, forcing them to flee and causing appalling damage.
Barnabas Fund contacts report that 190 houses were destroyed in the villages. Four churches were ransacked, with valuables stolen and livestock killed. A Christian hospital was set on fire, dozens of motorbikes destroyed and essential household items such as mattresses vandalised or looted.
Witnesses at the scene of the attack said, “Is it really human beings who are doing this?”
Contacts said that although the attackers came in force, they were not intent on killing people this time, as they fired into the air. Their aim seemed to be the looting of clothing and food to panic the local population and economically ruin them – forcing families to flee the area.
The prefect for the area has promised additional security, but no emergency relief for the victims has been offered at this time.
The attack on Gochi and Toufou is the fourth by militants in two weeks. In the previous attacks three people were killed and churches and homes were damaged or destroyed.
According to Barnabas Fund contacts, Christian villages in the far north of Cameroon are subject to attacks by Boko Haram Islamist militias they attempt to establish an Islamic caliphate from north-eastern Nigeria all the way to northern Cameroon, which is where most Cameroonian Muslims live in what is a predominantly Christian country.
From Barnabas Fund contacts