At 32 persons, including five Nigerians, were killed on Saturday, June 25, during an attack by Anglophone separatist fighters on the village of Ballin, near Akwaya in the Manyu Division of the Southwest region of Cameroon.
Navy Captain Cyrile Serge Atonfack, Cameroon’s head of the communication division in the Ministry of Defence, confirmed the attack in a statement issued on Tuesday, June 28. The defence spokespersons said the separatists killed 32 Cameroonians and wounded several others.
The assailants, numbering over 100, attacked the funeral ceremony for the brother of a parliamentarian, Martin Aka, of the ruling Cameroon Peoples Democratic Movement (CPDM).
According to the statement, the separatists burnt the Ballin health centre, the gendarmerie post, and 50 houses.
“The corpse of the brother of the parliamentarian was incinerated inside the coffin, four terrorists were neutralised, and several other terrorists were wounded and on the run.”
The statement said that the separatists “withdrew under the pressure of the defence and security forces”.
It added that “the wounded and furious populations of the village came out en masse and in a spontaneous movement of revolt, furiously responded in their way to the assaults of the horde of terrorists who finally withdrew into the nearby forests”.
There has been no reason given for the attack by the separatists.
Local sources say the attack is linked to a long-standing land dispute between the Ugare ethnic group of Ballin and the Olitis of the neighbouring village of Mavass, aggravated by the alliance of separatist combatants and the Olitis.
Shortly after the incident, administrative and military top brass descended on the scene of the attack to get first-hand information and plan on what immediate steps to take as investigations continue.
Meanwhile, the seriously wounded are receiving treatments at the Regional Hospital in Buea, the Southwest regional capital.
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