At least one civilian was killed and six others abducted by armed separatists Monday night in Bonakanda, a locality in Cameroon’s troubled English-speaking region of Southwest, local authorities said on Tuesday.
Heavily armed separatists raided the locality, killing a woman and kidnapping six other civilians after accusing them of “defying laws” put in place by the separatists, witnesses said.
The army has launched a search and rescue mission in the locality, officials said.
Clashes between government forces and the separatists in the region have “dropped drastically” since the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in Cameroon on March 6, according to security sources.
“Most of the boys kidnapping people for ransom and stealing now are actually thieves not the separatists,” an army official who asked not to be named told Xinhua.
Since 2017, separatists have been fighting to create an independent nation in the two Anglophone regions of the largely-French-speaking Cameroon.