The United Nation says attackers armed with guns and machetes killed at least eight children in a raid on a school in southwestern Cameroon.
A report by AFP said no group claimed responsibility for the attack on the bilingual school in Kumba, but the area has been caught up in violence between Anglophone separatists and government forces for three years.
A statement on Saturday by the local UN Office for the coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said another twelve were injured and taken to local hospitals.
According to the statement, this would make it one of the worst such attacks in the region to date.
A source close to police said that the children were killed when a “group of nine terrorist assailants” stormed the school and opened fire on pupils aged between nine and twelve years.
“There are no words for the grief nor condemnation strong enough to express my horror at the brutal attack which targeted primary school children… while they were sitting, learning, in their classroom,” said President of the African Union Moussa Faki Mahamat on Twitter.
The Cameroon Public Health Minister Malachie Manaouda who condemn the acts said murdering children is to attack the very foundation of ‘our nation.’
Two English-speaking regions of Cameroon, Southwest and Northwest provinces, have long chaffed against perceived discrimination from the country’s French-speaking majority.
The two regions have become the centre of a conflict involving separatist militants who have targeted the army and demanded local government offices and schools close.
Fighting has claimed more than 3,000 lives and forced over 700,000 people to flee their homes since 2017.