DAKAR: Cameroonian soldiers opened hearth on villagers in the course of a weekend raid in the country’s southwest, killing up to 9 men and women, which include civilians, and injuring other individuals, witnesses, health and fitness staff and a human rights attorney explained on Wednesday.
An military spokesman denied there ended up civilian casualties throughout the incident on Sunday in the village of Mautu in the South West location, residence to a separatist insurgency. He referred to as the accusation “propaganda”.
For 4 several years the army has clashed with Anglophone separatist fighters amongst the forests and cocoa farms of western Cameroon. Over 3,000 people today have died in the violence, which has intensified since the start off of this year.
Sunday’s attack was explained to Reuters by 3 villagers who said they fled into close by cocoa plantations or cowered at house though troopers rifled as a result of their possessions.
They explained they observed nine dead people, which includes a kid and an outdated girl. None of the useless were separatist fighters, they mentioned.
Professional medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) mentioned it was dealing with four folks from the village, all with gunshot wounds: a young child, two elderly patients and a youthful woman.
“This incident is the most current in a major upsurge in violence considering the fact that the calendar year started,” said Gisa Kohler, MSF’s emergency coordinator in South West Cameroon.
Unverified movies shared by resources with knowledge of the assault showed various lifeless bodies with gunshot wounds, together with a female and a little one laid out on a bamboo stretcher, as very well as many younger men.
“This is an unconventional conflict,” explained human legal rights law firm Agbor Balla, who explained he experienced verified at minimum eight fatalities in Mautu on Sunday, based mostly on his possess sources.
“Civilians were killed. It was performed by the military services. We don’t know if other folks killed had been separatists.”
In a assertion on Monday, the military services explained it was conducting a raid on separatist positions when it arrived underneath hearth and had killed what it labelled “terrorists”. It did not say how many died.
In reaction to Reuters issues about the incident, military spokesman Atonfack Guemo on Wednesday dismissed the witness accounts.
“Small terrorist groups and their international supporters have engaged in a fight of disinformation. We will not give in,” he said.
The army has struggled to uproot the insurgency, which is built up of dozens of modest armed groups and has come to be a thorn in the side of President Paul Biya’s 40-year rule.
The violence in Mautu comes as 3 troopers experience demo for their alleged involvement in the killing of 21 civilians very last yr in a village in the North West region.
The separatists have fully commited their individual abuses, such as assaults on police and the army, and faculty kidnappings.
Louis, a cocoa farmer, reported he was sitting down outside when the soldiers opened fire in Mautu.
“Bullets were traveling all over the place,” explained Louis, who like other witnesses did not want to use his final identify for panic of reprisal. “They chased me into the bushes and kept shooting.”
Fellow resident Enow claimed he was in a church conference when the gunfire began. He ran into the surrounding bushes and hid.
Not absolutely everyone got absent. One particular 60-year-aged farmer was at household when troopers broke down his door hunting for fighters and weapons. They found neither, and smashed his television, he said.
None of the witnesses mentioned they saw separatists that day. They all explained that a woman and her younger granddaughter were killed by the armed forces.
“They ended up men and women I realized,” the farmer stated. “What have they finished that they can be killed in this way?”
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