Cameroon’s army killed a dozen separatists during an operation in one of the country’s troubled English-speaking regions, the defence ministry said on Wednesday.
A deadly conflict between armed separatists and government forces has blighted Cameroon’s mainly anglophone North West and South West regions for more than five years.
The separatists, who seek independence for an unrecognised state they call “Ambazonia”, feel marginalised in predominantly French-speaking Cameroon, led for almost 40 years by intractable strongman President Paul Biya.
A large-scale operation in Djotin in the North West region on October 8 led to “a dozen terrorists being neutralised”, defence ministry spokesman Colonel Cyrille Atonfack said in a statement.
He added that “several hostages” were freed and 15 weapons seized in an operation targeting the separatists and “followers of the self-proclaimed general ‘No Pity’ who sow terror and desolation”.
No Pity is a feared anglophone separatist leader, known in Cameroon for his numerous attacks on the army.
Clashes between militants and security forces since late 2016 have claimed more than 6,000 lives and displaced more than one million people, according to the International Crisis Group think tank.
Civilians have suffered abuses committed by both sides, according to international NGOs and the United Nations.