At about 5 pm on the 6th of January in the market town of Gamboru which links Cameroon in Maiduguri, North-East Nigeria,  a grenade detonated killing over 9 people and injuring 26 others. The grenade was said to have been picked up by a peasant child, who is considered to be about 10 years old, in a bin while playing with a scrap metal he souced to sell. 

According to a statement by Midjiyawa Bakari, Governor of Cameroon’s far north region, the 10-year-old boy found the explosive device in a heap of debris near the bridge, which links the Cameroonian town of Fotokol to the Nigerian town of Gambarou.  The boy apparently thought the grenade was a piece of scrap iron that could be sold but the device exploded in his hands, killing the boy and eight other people on the spot and wounding 30 others.

While various versions of the tragic event spread fast, Bakari dismissed reports by Local radio stations that two female suicide bombers with the Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram, were responsible for the explosion. He classified the reports as unfounded. He further stated that Cameroonian officials have kept Nigerian authorities informed about their investigation.

Currently, it is not yet known how the grenade got deposited there, however, the governor has promised an ongoing probe of its origin by Cameroon to determine whether it was from a military or Boko Haram. 

The Gambarou-Fotokol area is a region embroiled in a conflict between the military and Islamist insurgency groups – Boko Haram and its splinter faction, the Islamic State West Africa Province – over the years. The region has experienced a decline in the activities of the groups in the past year even though they still operate there. Thanks to the Nigerian and Cameroonian troops who form part of a regional force fighting these militants.

Boko Haram is a jihadist terrorist organization Founded by Mohammed Yusuf in 2002. It has its base in northeastern Nigeria, active in Chad, Niger and northern Cameroon. The group has killed over 6,600 people in 2014, displaced 2.3 million people with about 250,000 of them taking asylum in other neighbouring countries. They were also responsible for the kidnapping of the 276 Chibok schoolgirls in 2014 and Dapchi schoolgirls kidnap of  February 2018. Nevertheless, 2019 has seen the further decline of Boko Haram and the loss of much of the territory it once reportedly controlled.

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