Separatist rebels have killed 15 Cameroonian soldiers and several civilians in two bomb attacks this month, the government said on Monday, marking a new phase of a conflict that has dragged on for nearly five years and cost more than 3,000 lives, APA reports quoting Reuters.
Insurgents are seeking to form a breakaway state called Ambazonia in western Cameroon. They began fighting the military in 2017 after civilian protests calling for greater representation of the French-speaking country's Anglophone minority were violently repressed.
What began with occasional raids by secessionists on police and army outposts has turned into a protracted fight that has sucked the life from large parts of the forested oil- and coffee-producing region.
The first of this month's attacks occurred on Sept. 12 in Kumbo, a town in the Northwest region, when a military convoy was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED). On Sept. 16 another convoy in the village of Bamessing was hit by an IED and an anti-tank rocket launcher, before coming under heavy gunfire.