June 24, 2024

Gunmen kill 10, injure two in restive northwest Cameroon

Cameroon regional governor on Monday said gunmen killed 10 people and injured another two at a busy junction in the city of Bamenda in Cameroon’s troubled northwest.

The Ambazonia Defence Forces (ADF), the main separatist group in the English-speaking region, which has been fighting since 2017 to protest alleged marginalisation by the majority French-speaking government, denied responsibility.

Northwest region Governor Adolphe Lele L’afrique told Reuters a manhunt had been launched for the “terrorists” behind the massacre.

“Investigations are on, and we will issue a statement on this later today,” he added.

A witness said the attackers arrived in vehicles on Sunday, ordered people onto the floor with accusations of failing to back local separatists, and opened fire as some obeyed while others ran.

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The witness said men in military uniforms arrived in two vehicles to storm Nacho Junction, where restaurants, bars and shops are located, at around 7:30 p.m. (1830 GMT).

They shot at people indiscriminately before taking off, the witness said.

“There is a possibility that it could be revenge killing,” ADF spokesperson Lucas Asu said, suggesting the attackers could have been disguised as separatist fighters.

More than 6,000 people have been killed in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions since the conflict erupted in 2017 after protests were violently suppressed.

Earlier this month, human rights group Amnesty International slammed government troops, militias and separatists for killings, rapes, torture, house burning, and other atrocities in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions.

It said those who spoke out were being threatened and detained.

(Reuters/NAN)

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