Cameroon: 5,000 people freed from Boko Haram since January

Cameroon says its soldiers have freed more than 5,000 people held by Boko Haram and have killed at least 60 Islamic extremists in operations since the end of January.

Communications Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary said Tuesday that thousands of Cameroonian soldiers, supported by Nigerian troops, have been launching raids on Boko Haram strongholds in the Mandara mountains that straddle the two countries.

He says that since the raids started on Jan. 26, 21 suspects have been arrested and that an insurgent refuge center was destroyed along with a petroleum depot, weapons, an explosives factory, and the residence of a Boko Haram leader.

The people freed are receiving treatment at a camp in Banki, Nigeria.

Boko Haram's seven-year insurgency has killed more than 20,000 people and displaced some 2.6 million.