Twenty-four civilians were killed and around 60 wounded in an attack by gunmen in Akwaya Sub Division in Manyu on Tuesday.
The death toll in the remote Southern Cameroons sub constituency is one of the bloodiest in a nearly five-year conflict pitting armed Ambazonia Restoration Fighters against Cameroon government forces in the breakaway West Cameroon.
The gunmen reportedly attacked Obonyi II, a village in Akwaya near the Nigerian border.
Unconfirmed reports say gunmen were separatists fighters who wanted the inhabitants to pay them money levy to support the armed conflict against the Francophone dominated military.
Local authorities placed the death toll at 24 with at least 62 wounded.
The attack was confirmed by the Divisional Officer for Akwaya and the Senior Divisional Officer for Manyu.
Cameroon Concord News gathered that after the attack, some people fled to Nigeria and others to the forest.
In 2017, Anglophone resentment over perceived discrimination radicalized and snowballed into a separatist movement that declared the two regions independent.
The country’s veteran president, Paul Biya, 89, responded with strong measures.
Clashes between militants and security forces have claimed more than 6,000 lives and displaced around a million people, according to the International Crisis Group (ICG).
The separatists have attacked police, soldiers, civil servants and schools, whom they consider to be symbols of the state, and often carry out kidnappings.
However, civilians have suffered abuses by both sides, according to international NGOs and the United Nations.
Earlier Tuesday, the Cameroon government army said it had freed a kidnapped senator. Senator Elizabeth Regine Mundi, 79, had been kidnapped along with her driver on April 30 in Bamenda, in the Northwest Region.
However, Cameroon Concord News sources hinted that the Biya government delivered CFAF 80 million through an agent then later went to where the ADF insurgents had told the government agent to meet the weary Senator Mundi and staged a melodrama designed to save the government’s face.
By Kingsley Betek in Mamfe