A would-be suicide bomber arrested in northern Cameroon wearing an explosives belt told investigators that she was one of the 219 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014, a regional official told journalists on Saturday.
The young woman was one of two would-be bombers who were arrested in Cameroon’s Far North on Friday, each of whom was wearing a belt packed with 12 kilogrammes of explosives, regional governor Midjiyawa Bakari said.
“Two suicide bombers were arrested by members of Limani’s vigilance committee,” he said of a town close to the Nigerian border.
“Each of them was carrying 12 kilogrammes of explosives...and was looking for somewhere to blow themselves up during the Easter weekend.”
During questioning, one woman said she was one of the girls kidnapped from Chibok in Nigeria, but we are treating this statement with caution”
He said the matter would be clarified later.
“Such would-be attackers are often drugged and can say anything,” Governor Bakari added.
The two were taken for questioning by the Cameroonian contingent of the five-nation military force set up to fight Boko Haram that also includes Nigeria, Benin, Chad and Niger.
In total, 276 schoolgirls were kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgents on April 14, 2014 as they were preparing for the end-of-year examinations in the remote northeastern Nigerian town of Chibok.
The mass kidnapping sparked international outrage.
Fifty-seven girls escaped within hours of the attack, but there has been no news about the remaining 219 still in captivity.
Boko Haram has carried out suicide bombings, often using female bombers and girls as part of its more than six-year armed campaign to establish an Islamic state in northern Nigeria.
The violence has claimed 17,000 lives and displaced more than 2.6 million people in Nigeria, Chad and northern Cameroon.