Yaounde (Cameroon) (AFP) - Cameroon will send around 2,000 extra troops to the north of the country to fight Boko Haram, the Nigerian jihadist movement behind bloody cross-border raids and suicide bombings, state television said Tuesday.
"Almost 2,000 extra soldiers will be deployed in the Extreme North region," on the border with northeastern Nigeria, according to the report on Cameroon Radio-Television, which gave no timetable for the operation.
The reinforcements will raise to 8,500 the number of troops deployed to take on Boko Haram insurgents, who have been attacking villages and towns inside Cameroon for two years, massacring and abducting civilians.
In the past fortnight, an unprecedented string of five suicide bombings by Boko Haram in Cameroon has claimed dozens of lives, including 33 people killed by teenage girls in three attacks on the market town of Maroua.
Since Sunday, seven people were slain in village raids, three of whom were beheaded, according to local security sources.
Cameroon has joined a regional campaign alongside Chad, Niger and Nigeria itself to battle Boko Haram, which has killed at least 15,000 people since 2009 in the name of founding an Islamic caliphate.
Several regions of the west African country have also banned the full Islamic veil after two women dressed in the religious garment blew themselves up in Fotokol, killing 10 civilians and a soldier from neighbouring Chad.
- Veils confiscated -
On Monday, authorities confiscated 600 Islamic veils in the border city of Kousseri, across the Chari River from the Chadian capital N'Djamena, a police official said.
"We confiscated the veils worn by women on the streets," he added.
Motorcycles -- the jihadists' favoured form of transport -- are also banned in the town's markets.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari will travel to Cameroon on Wednesday for talks with President Paul Biya in a bid "to build a strong regional alliance to confront Boko Haram," Buhari's spokesman Garba Shehu told AFP.
After more than seven months of delay, the deployment of a long-awaited Multinational Joint Task Force of 8,700 soldiers, police and civilian personnel has been announced for the end of July.
Nigeria's small western neighbour, Benin, has been sitting in on high-level military talks and will be a part of the task force, to be based in N'Djamena.
The Chadian army is engaged in a major military operation against Boko Haram forces that have fallen back on the many islands of Lake Chad, a key location where the borders of Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria converge.