Attackers storm Cameroon school, kill several children
At least eight children were killed and a dozen wounded after attackers stormed a school in southwestern Cameroon with guns and machetes, the United Nations said.
Arriving on motorbikes and in civilian clothes, the men attacked the Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy in the city of Kumba, in the country’s Southwest Region, at around midday on Saturday.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, described by the UN as “the worst atrocity” since the resumption of the school year earlier this month.
It was not clear if the attack was linked to a continuing struggle between government forces and armed groups in the English-speaking west seeking to form a breakaway state.
“At least eight children were killed as a result of gunshots and attack with machetes. Another twelve were wounded and taken to local hospitals,” the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement.
Some children were reportedly injured jumping from second-storey windows. Videos circulating on social media filmed by local journalists appeared to show adults rushing from the school with children in their arms, surrounded by wailing onlookers.
One photo verified by the Reuters news agency showed the inside of a classroom, where a pile of dried blood had pooled on the floor near some scattered flip-flops.
“They found the children in class and they opened fire on them,” city sub-prefect Ali Anougou told Reuters.