Separatist fighters in Cameroon killed three soldiers and wounded four others during an attack in the English-speaking Southwest region, military sources and a separatist commander said.
The attack in Kembong came hours after President Paul Biya said in a televised address the situation in Anglophone Cameroon was stable, despite ongoing widespread fighting.
Separatists have killed 25 soldiers and policemen in a series of raids over the past year in a bid to gain independence for the Anglophone Southwest and Northwest regions.
“ADF forces carried out the attacks,” said Cho Ayaba, leader of the Ambazonian Defence Force, an armed separatist group.
The crisis began in 2016 when government cracked down on English-speaking lawyers and teachers protesting against working in French.
Civilians were killed and subsequent violence against protesters helped boost support for a separatist movement, including armed groups looking to form a new state called Ambazonia, in a campaign to split Cameroon’s English-speaking minority from Yaounde.
An army crackdown on the insurgency forced more than 40,000 people to flee to Nigeria, according to the United Nations.
Residents in the Anglophone regions told Reuters the army burnt houses in Bole and shot residents on February 2
An army spokesman said claims houses were burnt and people shot in Bole were “totally false” and denied soldiers were mistreating residents in other villages.