Man claims Cameroon shootings
Yaounde - A man whose candidacy was rejected in Cameroon's forthcoming presidential election has claimed responsibility for shootings in the port of Douala, on behalf of an armed group.
"It was the Cameroonian People's Liberation Army (ALPC), of which I am the leader, that acted on the bridge" early on Thursday in Douala, Bertin Kisob, 36, told AFP overnight, adding that one of his men was killed in the operation.
AFP was unable to verify this claim from official sources.
Cameroon Radio-Television (CRTV) reported that armed men dressed as soldiers fired into the air and held up traffic on the Wouri Bridge for two hours, but a local official said just one man was responsible.
The governor of Littoral province, Fai Yengo Francis, said in a statement that there were no casualties and that efforts were being made to track down the gunman after security forces put an end to the shooting.
The incident came 10 days ahead of elections in the west African country, in which the main candidates out of 23 contenders are President Paul Biya, who has ruled since 1982, and veteran opposition leader John Fru Ndi.
Kisob told AFP that the ALPC's demand was that Biya quit power. "I live in hiding", he added. He is so far the only person to have claimed responsibility for the shooting on the bridge.
"We had a dozen members in boats, one on the bridge who was visible and the others under cover," Kisob said. "During an exchange of shots [with the army], one of our men was mortally wounded. He fell into the water and we recovered his body because we have an evacuation committee."
Several local sources said that a man had jumped or fallen into the water during the intervention by security forces and a statement from the governor's office said that "measures are being taken to find, identify and interrogate this individual."
Kisob added: "We don't target either the population or even soldiers of the regular army, but we want to make it known to the authorities that they don't have a monopoly on violence."
He said that the ALPC would carry out further actions "from time to time".
A politically unknown, Kisob submitted his candidacy for the election, but it was rejected by Elecam, the electoral commission. He appealed to the Supreme Court but lost. He told AFP that he was "unjustly" kept out of the presidential race.