Explosive Attack on Cameroon University Wounds 11

An explosive device wounded at least 11 university students on Wednesday when it was thrown on the roof of a lecture hall in a part of western Cameroon where English-speaking separatists are at war with government forces,

University of Buea’s Vice-Chancellor, Horace Manga Ngomo, disclosed that “the device fell to the ground and exploded”.

One boy and 10 girls were wounded, he told state radio, adding that all were in a stable condition.

“An investigation will tell us who the perpetrators are,” he said.

The campus was sealed off and students were hurrying home, there was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Two security sources said authorities suspected an attack by the separatist rebels who have been waging an insurgency for the past four years.

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Buea is the capital of Cameroon’s Southwest region. Both the Southwest and Northwest regions are mainly English-speaking in the otherwise predominantly French-speaking central African country.

A decades-long campaign by militants to redress perceived discrimination at the hands of the francophone majority flared into a declaration of independence on October 1, 2017, sparking a crackdown by security forces.

The conflict has claimed more than 3,500 lives and forced 700,000 people to flee their homes, according to NGO estimates that have not been updated in more than a year despite an escalation in violence in recent months.

The United Nations and international organizations regularly denounce abuses and crimes committed against civilians by both sides.

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This was the second explosion in Buea, in the South West region, this week after a taxi driver was killed on Monday by an explosive device.

Over the past year, separatist rebels have stepped up their use of explosive devices, killing dozens of Cameroonian soldiers.

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