Gunmen who opened fire Saturday on a private school in southwestern Cameroon were armed separatists active in the region since 2017, a government official has told Xinhua.

“Let me seize this opportunity not only to condemn what has happened, but to tell them (armed separatists) that we are going to do our best to shut them down,” Meme division prefect Ndong Chamberlin Ntou’ou told Xinhua on phone.

Students were studying in a classroom at the Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy in Kumba, chief-town of Meme division, when armed separatists invaded and opened fire on the children, Ntou’ou said.

According to the prefect, four children were killed on the spot and many others sustained serious injuries.

The death toll is likely to increase, a security official who asked not to be named told Xinhua. Local media quoted a nurse working at the Kumba District Hospital as saying that the casualty figure in the school attack stood at eight.

Ntou’ou stressed on the need for the population to collaborate with security forces to arrest the gunmen. Locals interviewed by Xinhua said, the gunmen escaped firing warning shots in the air after the attack on the school.

Separatists have not yet commented on the tragedy.

Separatists have been clashing with government forces since 2017 in a bid to create an independent nation in the two English-speaking regions of Northwest and Southwest. Enditem

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Xinhua News Agency, Xinhuanet is an important central news service-oriented website, an important information organ of the central government, and an important platform for building up China's online international communication capacity. Established on November 7, 1997, as an online news provider of the Xinhua News Agency, it was officially named Xinhuanet on March 10, 2000 and began around-the-clock news release with leading online public opinion at home and setting a good image of China abroad as its main task.


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