Close to ten deaths have been recorded today in the Mbengwi road neighborhood in Bamenda, capital city of Cameroon’s North West Region.
A showdown between soldiers and separatist fighters quickly deteriorated as at least two civilians were killed, Mimi Mefo Info has learned.
The civilians, locals say, were gunned down by soldiers, an act believed to be in retaliation to an earlier move be separatist fighters.
The incident originated from “an attack on the army by separatist fighters who used an explosive to target their vehicle,” recounted the source, who opted for anonymity.
Enraged, the soldiers on their part are said to have gone on rampage, torching several houses in the vicinity.
Among those affected, a reliable source tells MMI, is the house of the Pastor of Grace Baptist Church, who lives in the targeted neighbourhood.
“…The military suffered casualties. An armored car was blown off by an improvised explosive device and as a result of that the military went about shooting and burning,” another source close to the incident narrated.
“The soldiers,” he went on, “were so angry that they came to Ntarinkon where there was traffic and hit some taxis on the road.”
“In that anger and frustration, they pulled out their guns and were threatening to shoot at civilians who escaped for their dear lives,” he told Mimi Mefo Info.
What triggered the soldiers’ collective arson, locals say, is believed to have been worsened by reports that all their colleagues targeted in the explosion by separatist fighters, died. At least seven of the soldiers died in the attack.
At press time, a minimum of ten houses are believed to have been reduced to ashes and their occupants rendered homeless and helpless. Other damages recorded are yet to be assessed.
Today’s attack on the population of Mbengwi road adds to a long list of numerous others orchestrated by the warring factions in the English speaking regions, on civilians.
This would not be the first time that gun battles between the army and separatist groups have left the local population emerging as the biggest losers. On Sunday morning, an exchange between the warring sides left residents of Mbengwi road and Alakuma quarters indoors and ridden with fear.
Some described the exchange as “the worst they have witnessed since the start of the Anglophone crisis that began five years ago.”
Like in many of the previous cases, no official remarks have been made regarding today’s burnings and killings and meting out of collective punishment on the civilian population.
(C) Mimi Mefo Info