At least eight children were confirmed dead and several wounded after unknown attackers stormed a school in Kumba, Southwestern Cameroon, with guns and machetes, the United Nations said.
The unknown men who attacked the Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy in the city of Kumba, in the country’s Southwest Region, at around midday on Saturday arrived on motorbikes and in civilian clothes.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, described by the UN as “the worst atrocity” since the resumption of the school year earlier this month.
It was also not clear if the attack was linked to a continuing struggle between government forces and armed groups in the English-speaking west seeking to form a breakaway state.
The Humanitarian Coordinator in #Cameroon, @mznaab strongly condemns the attack against Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy in Kumba, in the South West region of Cameroon in which it is reported that at least eight children were killed and another twelve wounded. pic.twitter.com/vJfLOrlmw0
— OCHA Cameroon (@OchaCameroon) October 24, 2020
“At least eight children were killed as a result of gunshots and attack with machetes. Another twelve were wounded and taken to local hospitals,” the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement.
Some children were reportedly injured jumping from second-story windows. Videos circulating on social media filmed by local journalists appeared to show adults rushing from the school with children in their arms, surrounded by wailing onlookers.
One photo verified by the Reuters news agency showed the inside of a classroom, where a pile of dried blood had pooled on the floor near some scattered flip-flops.