Children killed after storming school in Cameroon

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Children killed after storming school in Cameroon

 

Gunmen stormed a private school in a troubled part of Cameroon, killing at least six children and injuring a dozen others, officials said.

Officials in the southwestern town of Kumba blamed English-speaking secessionists for the attack. It was not confirmed independently.

A local education official said the victims were between 12 and 14 years old.

Parts of Cameroon have been in turmoil since Anglophone groups stepped up efforts for independence in 2016.

Some schools in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon recently reopened after a four-year closure due to threats from separatists fighting for an independent state of Ambazonia.

Activists English claim that the country's French-speaking majority marginalizes the English-speaking minority.

 

Armed men stormed the Mother Francisca school around noon on Saturday after arriving on motorcycles. Some children were injured when they jumped from the second floor in an attempt to escape the attack.

Videos uploaded to social media show adults fleeing school while carrying children.

"They found the children in class and they opened fire on them, ”city sub-prefect Ali Anougou told Reuters news agency.

It is not known why the school was targeted, but the sub-prefect said secessionist insurgents were behind the attack.

However, a secessionist leader said a statement would be issued expressing "disgust" at the killings.

What is the conflict about?

Protests against the growing use of French in courts and schools in Cameroon's English-speaking heartland, in the North West and South West regions, turned into violence in 2017.

 

A crackdown on the security forces has led some English-speaking civilians to take up arms against the government, led by French-speaking President Paul Biya.

Thousands of people have lost lives and hundreds of thousands have been displaced as a result of the clash between separatists and security forces.

This article appeared first on: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-54678254

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