Eight killed in raids in Cameroon’s restive Anglophone region

Supporters of the ruling CPDM party, Cameroon People's Democratic Movement of incumbent Cameroonian President Paul Biya, gather as a patrol of the Cameroonian Gendarmerie deploys in the Omar Bongo Square of the majority anglophone South West province capital Buea, on October 3, 2018 on the sidelins of a political rally. (Photo by MARCO LONGARI / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)
A patrol of the Cameroonian Gendarmerie deploys on the sidelines of a political rally in the Omar Bongo Square of the majority anglophone South West province capital Buea, on October 3, 2018. (MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)

At least eight people including civilians have been killed in military raids in Cameroon’s English-speaking region of Northwest, local and security sources said Wednesday.

The raids in Wum, a locality of Northwest, came after armed separatist fighters killed a government soldier who was on a night patrol in the area, according to a military official who asked not to be named.

From Monday to Tuesday, government troops accompanied by armed local vigilantes raided the locality.

The attacks were described by four villagers Wednesday, who said they had fled into nearby bushes or cowered at home while soldiers rifled through their belongings. They said they saw seven dead people, including three armed separatist fighters and four civilians.

The military official said troops were conducting a raid on separatist positions when they came under fire and killed what he labelled as terrorists.

The Cameroonian army has beefed up security in the region after armed separatists ambushed and killed 15 soldiers in a single combat in September.

The army has since 2017 been fighting English-speaking militias seeking to form a breakaway state known as Ambazonia in the two Anglophone regions of Northwest and Southwest.