DOUALA (Reuters) – Gunmen killed five children and badly wounded about nine others when they opened fire in a school in the city of Kumba in Cameroon’s Southwest region on Saturday, officials told Reuters.
The officials blamed the attack on secessionist insurgents who are seeking to form a breakaway state in Cameroon’s English-speaking west, though Reuters was unable to immediately confirm that.
“They attacked around noon. They found the children in class and they opened fire on them,” Kumba sub-prefect Ali Anougou told Reuters. He said that nine others had been seriously wounded and sent to hospital.
Anglophone secessionists have imposed curfews and closed schools as part of their protest against President Paul Biya’s French-speaking government and its perceived marginalisation of the English-speaking minority.
Last year, officials blamed separatists for kidnapping dozens of schoolchildren, charges the separatists denied.