Cameroon’s Defence Minister, Joseph Beti Assomo said on Monday that poachers killed six soldiers and two guides. The soldiers were attacked while out on patrol in a wildlife park in the northern region of the country.
“Six members of the defence forces and two civilian guides were killed on Thursday during a clash with heavily-armed men on horseback in Bouba Ndjida national park in the north of the country,” Beti Assomo said in a statement aired on state radio.
In 2012, 128 elephants were killed in the Bouba Ndjida Park within two months, according to the government. The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) put the figure at 480, AFP reports.
The WWF attributed that massacre to poachers from Sudan and Chad.
After the 2012 attack, the government deployed troops in the wildlife reserve to help deal with the threat from poachers.
Poaching has killed an estimated 110,000 elephants over the last decade, with transnational organised crime syndicates taking over the illicit trade, the report said.
Despite a decline in poaching 2016 figures show that the global trade in illegal ivory continues.
According to the Great Elephant Census in 2016, the first ever pan-African survey of savanna elephants, numbers are estimated to have fallen to 352,000, down from 1.3 million in 1979.