At least 5 soldiers killed in ambush in Cameroon’s restive Anglophone region

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Soldiers patrol in Bafut, after the roof of a school's dormitory was set to fire overnight, on November 15, 2017, in the northwest English-speaking region of Cameroon. Authorities in Cameroon have imposed a night-time curfew on November 8, 2017 and ordered the closure of shops and public places in the main city in a region rocked by unrest among the country's anglophone minority. Four makeshift bombs exploded overnight on November 12, a week after four soldiers were killed in the two administrative areas where most of Cameroon's anglophone minority live. Their deaths have been blamed by the authorities on "terrorists" -- anglophones campaigning for the two English-speaking areas, the Northwest and Southwest Regions, to secede from Cameroon. / AFP PHOTO / - (Photo credit should read -/AFP via Getty Images)

At least five Cameroonian soldiers were killed on Monday in an ambush by suspected armed separatist fighters in the country’s restive Anglophone region of Southwest, according to defense sources.

The incident occurred in Otu, a locality bordering Cameroon and Nigeria. A senior military Commander told Xinhua that bodies of up to five soldiers were recovered when suspected armed separatists laid an ambush on them after officials organised a football match “to ascertain the return to normalcy” in the locality that has been controlled by the separatists since 2018.

Several other soldiers were wounded in the ambush, said the source who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The victims are currently receiving treatment at a military facility.

The incident was not direct combat with the separatists, according to several security sources.

Ayaba Cho, Separatist leader based abroad, immediately claimed responsibility for the attack on social media and praised the militants for their “bravery”.

Government forces and armed separatists have been clashing since 2017 in Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions of Northwest and Southwest where separatists want to establish an independent nation.

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