Rebel gunmen opened fire at a school in the Cameroonian city of Kumba on Saturday, killing At least six children and wounding eight others.
The New York Times is reporting that officials blamed the attack on secessionist insurgents, according to Reuters. Secessionists wish to establish an independent state in Cameroon’s English-speaking west. Reuters was not immediately able to confirm that claim.
“They attacked around noon,” an official from Kumba, Ali Anougou, told Reuters. “They found the children in class, and they opened fire on them.”
The gunmen attacked the Mother Francisca School around mid-day. Consequently, some children were injured from jumping out of the school’s second-story windows, trying to escape. The six children killed were between the ages of 12 and 14.
Anglophone rebels in the area have put curfews in place and closed down schools in protest against the country’s French-speaking government and its perceived marginalization of the English-speaking minority.
Last year, officials blamed separatists for kidnapping dozens of schoolchildren. The separatists have denied the allegations.