Gunmen storm Cameroon school, kill 8 students
Published: 04:04 PM, 25 October 2020
An empty classroom following the attack at a school in Kumba, Cameroon, on Saturday. Photo: My Media Prime TV/Reuters
Gunmen have stormed a school in southwestern Cameroon, killed at least eight students and injured eight more people.
The attack carried out on Saturday afternoon, local officials and parents said.
A guardian who was outside the school at the time of the attack said the gunmen came on motorcycles wearing civilian clothes. “They then opened fire on the children,” she said.
Several children were injured when they jumped out of the second-floor window from a classroom, the parents present at the spot at the time told.
There are separatist rebel activities in the region. It is unclear whether the attack was linked to ongoing fighting between government forces and groups seeking to establish an isolated state in the western English-speaking region of Ambazonia.
A local eyewitness, reluctant to disclose the name, said Ambazonia fighters were responsible for the bloodshed. They went to school and started firing on the students. “As per them, students in class means they are traitors. The militants had called for a boycott of schools in the north-west and south-west,” he said.
Ali Anogau, deputy chief of Kumba town, told Reuters they found children in the class and opened fire on them.
Isabel Dione, a parent, said she heard gunshots and ran to the school in search of her 12-year-old daughter. There she saw her girl lying on the floor of the class. The girl was bleeding from her stomach. She fell helplessly and shouted: “Help me, mother”. The girl, who was injured in the shooting, was taken to hospital and undergoing treatment.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said seven children were killed and 12 were injured in the attack. Some of them have suffered casualties by machete’s hack.
Video captured and posted by local journalists shows elderly people walking out of school with children in their arms. At that time they were surrounded by weeping visitors.
A photo verified by Reuters showed blood on the floor of a classroom and some children’s sandals lying nearby.
Local education official Ahim Abanau Obase confirmed that six children between the ages of 12 and 14 were killed in the attack. Eight more children have been admitted to the hospital, he also said.
Anogau and another official blamed separatists for the attack, however, they did not show any evidence in support of their claim.
In a Twitter post, Ayuk Tabe, one of the leaders of the separatists, described the attack as inhumane. “Those responsible for this atrocity must be punished,” he added.