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Boko Haram kills three vigilantes in northern Cameroon

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Three members of a self-defense group were shot dead on Monday by suspected members of the Islamist group Boko Haram in the north of Cameroon.

Local authorities reported that the casualties were members of the Kaliari Vigilant committee.

These self-defense groups are usually composed of civilians and are responsible for providing information or serve as scouts to soldiers.

The deaths were confirmed to AFP by a police officer who requested anonymity. He said the victims were 25, 30 and 40 years old.

Another source said the fighters came from Nigeria.

Boko Haram attacks have killed nearly 2,500 Cameroonians between 2014 and 2017, according to the country’s defense ministry.

The UN Refugee Agency estimates approximately 26 million people in the Lake Chad region have been affected by the Boko Haram violence, and more than 2.6 million displaced.

The Boko Haram insurgency began in 2009 in northeastern Nigeria before spreading to neighboring countries.

Since then more than 36,000 people (mostly in Nigeria) have been killed and three million have fled their homes, according to the United Nations.