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Cameroon prisons overcrowded with Boko Haram suspects after insurgency spilled over

  • In this photo taken on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, a house allegedly destroyed by the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram near the village of Mabass, Cameroon. Cameroon officials say prisons are overcrowded with suspected Islamic extremists whose insurgency has spilled from Nigeria. (AP Photo/Edwin Kindzeka Moki)

    In this photo taken on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, a house allegedly destroyed by the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram near the village of Mabass, Cameroon. Cameroon officials say prisons are overcrowded with suspected Islamic extremists whose insurgency has spilled from Nigeria. (AP Photo/Edwin Kindzeka Moki)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, Cameroon soldiers, center rear, at a  house allegedly destroyed by the Islamic extremists group Boko Haram near the village of Mabass, Cameroon. Cameroon officials say prisons are overcrowded with suspected Islamic extremists whose insurgency has spilled from Nigeria. (AP Photo/Edwin Kindzeka Moki)

    In this photo taken on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, Cameroon soldiers, center rear, at a house allegedly destroyed by the Islamic extremists group Boko Haram near the village of Mabass, Cameroon. Cameroon officials say prisons are overcrowded with suspected Islamic extremists whose insurgency has spilled from Nigeria. (AP Photo/Edwin Kindzeka Moki)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, Cameroon soldiers stand guard at a lookout post as they take part in operations against the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram near the village of Mabass, Cameroon. Cameroon officials say prisons are overcrowded with suspected Islamic extremists whose insurgency has spilled from Nigeria. (AP Photo/Edwin Kindzeka Moki)

    In this photo taken on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, Cameroon soldiers stand guard at a lookout post as they take part in operations against the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram near the village of Mabass, Cameroon. Cameroon officials say prisons are overcrowded with suspected Islamic extremists whose insurgency has spilled from Nigeria. (AP Photo/Edwin Kindzeka Moki)  (The Associated Press)

Cameroon officials say prisons are overcrowded with suspected Islamic extremists whose insurgency has spilled from Nigeria.

Maroua Central Prison registrar Ngeh Emmanuel said Thursday that 30,000 people have been detained in 25 prisons in Cameroon since May 2015. He says that number is up from 22,000 detained before.

Emmanuel says that more soldiers are needed to stop inmates from endless attempts to break out of jail.

Cameroon Human Rights commission chairman Che Mutta Divine Banda says prisons are crammed with six times more people than their capacity allows.

Neighboring countries increasingly have been drawn into Nigeria's 5-year Islamic uprising, which has killed thousands and driven 1.6 million people from their homes, including across borders into Cameroon, Niger and Chad.

Boko Haram has been recruiting fighters in all three countries.