Explosive attack on Cameroon university lecture hall wounds 11

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

The victims were in stable condition in hospital, University of Buea’s vice-chancellor, Horace Manga Ngomo, told Reuters. He declined to comment on who might have been behind the attack.

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

The campus was sealed off and students were hurrying home, a Reuters reporter said. 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.

The crisis began in Cameroon’s English-speaking North West and South West regions in 2016 when teachers and lawyers protested against their perceived marginalisation by the primarily French-speaking national government.

A violent crackdown by security forces helped radicalise the movement, and the ensuing conflict has killed more than 3,000 people and displaced nearly 1 million.

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.

(Reporting by Blaise Eyong, additional reporting by Josiane KouagheuWriting by Aaron Ross;Editing by Bate Felix, Alison Williams and Nick Macfie)



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