Cameroon arrested four soldiers suspected of shooting dead two women and two children in the country’s far north where its army is battling jihadist group Boko Haram, security sources told Reuters.
A video of the incident, shared tens of thousands of times on Twitter since it emerged, provoked international outcry.
Government spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary initially described the footage as “fake news” and said the men in it, wearing military fatigues, did not appear to be Cameroonian soldiers. He said government would open an investigation.
“Four soldiers were arrested on Sunday. They are suspected of being the authors of the executions in the video,” said an army officer in Cameroon’s Far North region.
A second security source said three of the soldiers were transferred to Yaounde while the fourth was being held in Maroua, Far North capital.
Spokesmen for the army and government did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
The shaky footage shows two women, one with an infant strapped to her back, being led across a patch of dusty scrubland by a group of uniformed men, who accuse them of belonging to the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram.
The women, silent throughout the ordeal, are blindfolded and told to sit down alongside their children. Moments later, two men step back, level rifles and fire a series of rounds.
Amnesty International said it had gathered credible evidence that the men in the video were Cameroonian soldiers based on an analysis of weapons, speech and uniforms.
Four Cameroonian military sources, including the officer in the Far North, told Reuters the video showed Cameroonian soldiers. Two said the video was filmed in 2014 or 2015 in the early months of operations against Boko Haram.