The Cameroon army “neutralised” seven attackers during a “reconnaissance operation offensive” near Bamenda, the capital of the troubled anglophone Northwest Region, sources close to the defence force said on Sunday.
The operation at Alabukam also resulted in the destruction of a camp of secessionist fighters and the recovery of small arms ammunition, military uniforms and motorcycles, the sources told AFP.
Unprecedented violence has marred the past year in Cameroon’s two mainly anglophone provinces, the Northwest and Southwest regions, spilling over into French-speaking regions as English speakers rail against perceived marginalisation.
In October 2017, radical anglophone leaders declared a “Republic of Ambazonia” in the two regions that were incorporated into predominantly French-speaking Cameroon in 1961.
The central government in Yaounde launched a crackdown, deploying thousands of troops against armed militants.
More than 200 members of the security forces and at least 500 civilians have been killed since, according to the International Crisis Group thinktank, while the UN estimates that more than 437,000 people have fled their homes.
The two English-speaking regions were previously ruled by Britain as the Southern Cameroons.
Over the years, anglophones have chafed at perceived discrimination at the hands of the francophone majority, especially in law, education and economic opportunities.