Cameroon gang, locals clash - five dead

2011-07-13 22:15

Yaounde - Clashes between locals and a criminal gang in Cameroon's largest city left five dead and about 60 injured, police and government sources said on Wednesday.

Violence broke out in Douala's Bilongue district on Friday when residents carried out the lynching of a car thief whose armed associates returned days later for reprisal attacks.

Local official Emmanuel Talla said five were killed and about 60 hurt in the clashes which ended on Tuesday. A police source confirmed the toll.

"On Friday a car thief was lynched by residents [in Bilongue]," said a security official who did not want to be named.

"On Monday his friends came to the area for revenge and killed a person, sparking locals' anger and the arrival of security forces."

The source said police arrested 10 assailants on Monday while others fled.

On Tuesday evening residents then sought out and lynched three of them, he said.

Talla said: "During the gang's counter attack [on Monday] about 60 were injured and a young man was cut up by the bandits using a machete. There were about a hundred of them.

"They were armed with knives, machetes and [other] weapons," Talla said.

Lynchings are frequent in Douala, Cameroon's economic capital, where the phenomenon of rounding on thieves who have escaped punishment is labelled "popular justice" among residents.