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Published: Saturday May 17, 2014 MYT 4:25:03 PM
Updated: Saturday May 17, 2014 MYT 4:25:03 PM

Suspected Boko Haram rebels attack Chinese plant in Cameroon

ABUJA (Reuters) - Suspected rebels from Nigeria's Islamist militant group Boko Haram attacked a Chinese plant in northern Cameroon near the town of Waza, a local governor told Reuters on Saturday.

Waza is 20 km (12 miles) from the Nigerian border close to the Sambisa forest, a stronghold of Boko Haram which has killed thousands in Nigeria in a five-year insurgency for an Islamist state and threatens to destabilise the wider region.

The vast Sambisa forest is close to the area where Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls last month.

The governor of Far North province Augustine Fonka Awa confirmed the attack but declined to give details.

Chinese state news agency Xinhua quoted Chinese officials as saying unidentified assailants had attacked the camp of a Chinese enterprise operating in Cameroon on Friday night, injuring one person and leaving 10 unaccounted for.

Boko Haram has staged several attacks in northern Cameroon. Last month, it attacked a police post, killing two people. The rebels kidnapped a French family in February 2013.

West African leaders meet in Paris on Saturday to try to improve cooperation in their fight against Boko Haram.

Outrage over the kidnapping has prompted Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, criticised at home for his government's slow response, to accept U.S., British and French intelligence help in the hunt for the girls.

(Reporting by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Bate Felix; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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