7 die as Cameroon army, CAR gunmen clash

2014-01-03 09:01
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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Yaounde - Seven people, including two Cameroonian soldiers, have been killed in an attack on eastern Cameroon by an armed group from the Central African Republic, a security official said on Thursday.

The raid took place on the village of Ondiki, close to the border, when "a group of armed attackers coming from neighbouring CAR targeted a small military base," the security official told AFP, asking not to be named.

"Cameroonian soldiers fought back. The toll is seven dead. They are two soldiers, a leader of the Muslim community in the village and four of the assailants," a local administrative official said.

According to a military source cited by the private daily Mutations, the attackers were believed to be members of the mainly Muslim Seleka rebel coalition that put the CAR's President Michel Djotodia in power last year, causing chaos in the country.

Djotodia has since dissolved the Seleka amid fears of mounting sectarian violence, but rogue rebels are rampant. The Cameroonian security source said that several of them had been arrested in Cameroon in recent weeks.

Eastern Cameroon, which is also home to thousands of refugees from the violence in CAR, frequently comes under attack by Central African armed groups. They also use the territory as a rear base.

On 16 November, seven people including a Cameroonian soldier were killed in an attack blamed by the Yaounde government on forces from across the border.

The Cameroonian authorities recently reinforced their military strength in the CAR border region, as well as in the northeast, on the frontier with Nigeria, which poses an Islamist threat.

French priest Georges Vandenbeusch, freed on Tuesday, was kidnapped in November at his home in Cameroon by Nigeria's radical Islamist movement Boko Haram.

Read more on:    seleka  |  boko haram  |  michel djotodia  |  cameroon  |  car  |  central africa

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