Cameroon investigates viral video of soldiers executing women and children

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Cameroonian soldiers cover a Nigerian armoured vehicle used by Boko Haram insurgents to attack a Cameroon army patrol with camouflage near Waza, February 17, 2015. REUTERS/Bate Felix Tabi Tabe

The government of Cameroon has opened an investigation into the authenticity of a video circulating on social media platforms which shows armed men, presumed Cameroonian soldiers, executing two women and their children, accused of being accomplices of the Nigerian jihadist group Boko Haram.

Cameroonian soldiers cover a Nigerian armoured vehicle used by Boko Haram insurgents to attack a Cameroon army patrol with camouflage near Waza, February 17, 2015. REUTERS/Bate Felix Tabi Tabe

In the video, published Tuesday and seen thousands of times on social networks, we see men wearing military uniforms similar to those of some units of the Cameroonian army executing two women and their two children, on their knees.

The two uniformed men are seen harrassing the women; slapping one of the women and saying ‘You are going to die you BH’. BH in Cameroon refers to the Islamist group Boko Haram.

The video which looks like it was filmed on a mobile phone has someone commenting on the shocking scenes, explaining that the women were captured during an assault on Boko Haram.

The two women are led up a small hill, blindfolded, before all four are shot in the back. The cold blooded military men fire close to twenty bullets, including close-up shots on the corpses of the women and children.

The videos have shocked the nation, including the authorities, who say an investigation has been opened to authenticate the video.

Governmenet spokesperson Issa Tchiroma Bakary explained that since the Cameroonian army has been cited in the shocking video, government will investigate.

He was however quick to add that in this era of ‘fake news’, they couldn’t rule out the possibility that enemies of the government could use such a ploy to frame the authorities.

‘‘We haven’t authenticated yet, but I draw your attention to what we call fake news. Do not be peremptory in the attribution of this video to the Cameroonian army. Because the enemy is always able to slip into our defence and security forces to attribute to us such heinous crimes,’‘ Bakary said.

However, two Cameroonian security sources told AFP that the video may have been filmed in a mountainous area in the Far North region of Cameroon, bordering some Nigerian strongholds in Boko Haram.

The Cameroonian army is engaged there to counter the frequent incursions of fighters of the jihadist group. NGOs also frequently accuse the army of perpetrating abuses against persons suspected of belonging to the Boko Haram group, which it has always denied.

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