Nine Children among Those Burned Alive in Boko Haram Attack on Cameroonian Village

Jul 22, 2015 05:35 PM EDT

Nine children and at least 14 other people were burned alive in a horrific attack carried out by Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram in a Cameroonian village.

According to local media reports, the village of Kamouna, which lies in the bordering region between Nigeria and Chad, was attacked by 80 Islamic extremists earlier this week, who overpowered seven troops stationed in the village.

"They [security forces] began shooting in the air to scare the attackers," but to no avail, Pastor Edward Ngosu, told the Associated Press. 

According to reports, the bodies of the burnt students were later found in the bush. Over 300 homes and other buildings were also destroyed in the attack which killed a total of 23 people.

Another resident, Bachirou Ahmad, told AP that a raid on a nearby village the previous week by suspected Boko Haram militants had led those living in Kamouna to ask for greater protection from the government--a request which fell on deaf ears. 

Since its formation in 2009, Boko Haram has perpetrated the killing of over over 10,000 Nigerians, including thousands of Christians. This year alone, over 2,000 people have been killed as a result of the group's attacks and an estimated 750,000 have fled their homes. While most of the attacks have taken place in northern Nigeria, they have extended to Cameroon and Chad in recent months.

Earlier in July, Muslim extremists ravaged northeastern Nigerian villages, killing nine villagers and burning down 32 churches and about 300 homes, according to Stephen Apagu, chairman of a self-defense group in Borno state's Askira-Uba local government area.

Also in July, a suicide bomber tied to the group blew himself up inside a church in the Nigerian town of Potiskum, killing a priest and four other Christians, including a mother and her two children.

Open Doors USA, an organization that monitors the persecution of Christians around the world, spoke out against the extreme violence being carried out against believers in Nigeria last month.

"The alarming trend of violence against Christians in Nigeria over the past months highlights the lack of religious freedom they have and daily dangers they face from the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram and other violent Islamic organizations," said Open Doors President and CEO David Curry.

"Going to school, attending church or identifying yourself as a Christian is a very brave decision in Nigeria. It is turning into a bloodbath. Christians in the West must stand in the gap with our prayers and support."

Meanwhile, in an effort to combat growing terrorism in the region, the Obama administration has pledged $5 million in funding to Nigeria's military since Muhammadu Buhari's election earlier this year.

Speaking on Monday, President Obama said that Nigeria is "one of the most important countries" in Africa, and said that his recent meeting with Buhari was focused on combating corruption, public health concerns, and other issues.

In turn, the Nigerian president thanked the U.S. for maintaining pressure on Nigeria to have a free and fair presidential election back in March, when he won the general elections against incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan.

"It would have been almost impossible if the United States did not maintain the pressure on the former Nigerian government, but they would not accept anything less constitutional as far as the processes of the election are concerned," Buhari said.

"We will ever remain grateful to you because there are fundamental objectives that are identify all of Nigeria's people's Congress: security, economy, employment especially of youth, and then fighting corruption."