Cameroon Politics

Four killed in Cameroon hospital attack

Four people died when gunmen raided a hospital and burnt it to the ground in western Cameroon where anglophone separatists have been fighting troops, witnesses and a local official said Monday.

The incident occurred in Kumba, a town which serves as the commercial hub for the anglophone region and which has been badly hit by the violence between separatists and Cameroon troops that began in October 2017.

“Attackers killed four people and burnt down the hospital,” said an administrative official in the Kumba region, confirming information from a witness.

It was not immediately clear whether the victims were shot or died in the fire, nor whether they were patients at the facility.

The hospital, in the town of Kumba, was serving a large area because several other health facilities in the same district had shut down due to a separatist rebellion.

The government has blamed previous hospital attacks on Anglophone separatists. But there have also been reports of soldiers targeting hospitals in the belief that separatist fighters were being treated there. It is not yet known who was behind the attack on this one.

The rebellion began after protests calling for better treatment of the Anglophone minority were violently broken up by the security forces in 2016.

Over the past 16 months, there have been regular clashes between troops and groups of separatists who have attacked police stations, schools and staged mass kidnappings.

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UN figures show around 437,000 people have been forced out of their homes by the ongoing conflict, with another 32,000 fleeing across the border to neighbouring Nigeria.

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