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Gunman kills seven villagers in Cameroon

Gunman kills seven villagers in Cameroon
FILE- Illustration photo: Cameroonians in a police vehicle in Buea, about 60 km west of Douala...   -  
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A lone gunman opened fire on residents of four villages in northeastern Cameroon on Monday, killing seven people and seriously wounding two others, the local prefect and state television said on Thursday (June 17).

The "lone gunman, carrying an AK47 type weapon and four magazines loaded on both sides of his belt, opened fire on the innocent populations" of four villages in the locality of Belel, in the Adamaoua region, a statement read.

It is not yet known what his motives are.

The attacks left "seven people dead and two seriously injured", according to the prefect, a figure confirmed by the state television Cameroon Radio-Television (CRTV), which said that four of the victims died on the spot and three of their injuries in hospital.

The shooter fled and is "untraceable", according to CRTV. The perfect Awounfac Alienou assured that the security forces are mobilised to find him but called on the population to "mobilise massively (...) in self-defence groups to hunt him down".

In the past, Adamaoua, which borders the Central African Republic and Chad, was the scene of regular hostage-taking with ransom demands.

These kidnappings, which are on the decline, are often attributed to criminal groups from Chad, the Central African Republic and northern Cameroon.

A military operation to combat kidnappings was launched more than two years ago and has already led to the release of 46 hostages and the seizure of 36 weapons of war

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