THE NIGHT OF July 29, the terrorist group Boko Haram attacked the town of Gagalari in the Diocese of Yagoua in the far north of Cameroon. A local source, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Aid to the Church in Need: “They arrived during the night, entered the houses one by one and kidnapped the women, only the women. They took them to the outskirts and amputated one ear of each of the victims. Then they released them, threatening them and telling them that they would return, that this is the first attack, but that others will follow. It is terrifying.”
The victims were found by the army and then transferred 160 miles for medical assistance.
The amputation of an ear is a way of pressuring and terrifying the inhabitants of the area who, as the terrorists put it, “listen to the government” and reject Boko Haram.
For security reasons the local men do not sleep inside the houses and there is even a vigilance committee, “but it was no use in this repulsive surprise attack. The women were dragged out of their homes before the eyes of their children,” the source said.
The population, especially children and women, is traumatized and terrified. “But what are they going to do? They are simple and very poor people who live from agriculture and right now in the rainy season they are waiting for the harvest. Where are they going to go,” asked the source. The town is 75 miles from the nearest parish.