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Extremists attack in Africa, taking hostages and killing at least seven

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POTISKUM, NIGERIA - JANUARY 18: Wreckage of a car is seen after a suicide bombing which killed at least 5 people and injured many others in Potiskum of Yobe State in Nigeria on January 18, 2015. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Cameroon says Islamic extremists from Nigeria have attacked a village in the northern part of its territory.

Cameroon’s information minister says Boko Haram fighters destroyed 80 houses, killing three people and taking “between 30 and 50” people hostage, including children.

Meanwhile, in a separate attack in Nigeria, a suicide bomber killed four people and injured 35 others in a town in the country’s northeast.

The attacks in Nigeria and neighboring Cameroon highlight the growing regional threat posed by Boko Haram. The attacks come three days after Cameroon President Paul Biya announced that another of Nigeria’s neighbors, Chad, would send what he called “an important contingent” to support Cameroon’s army as it tries to repel the extremists’ intensifying offensive.

Cameroon’s information minister says Chadian troops began arriving in Cameroon today and headed straight to the north.

Boko Haram has been recruiting fighters in Cameroon, Chad and Niger, and the group recently issued a video threatening Biya.