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.