Gunmen suspected to be separatists’ fighters have set the house of police officer in Kumba, South West Region, ablaze.
The incident happened around 10:30 am on Thursday, August 16, 2018, as gun battles erupted on Apollinaire Street towards Three Corners Fiango.
Eye witnesses in the affected neighbourhood recounted that a team of security officers had escorted the police officer to his home for some private endeavour. Witnesses sustained that minutes later, unknown boys on a motorcycle passed around the same neighbourhood and within 10 minutes, the atmosphere changed, as either sets fired gunshots.
A gun battle sparked-off, throwing the entire neighbourhood into pandemonium. As the gun shots echoed into the neighbouring areas of New Layout, hundreds of city dwellers prostrated on the floor for fear of stray bullets.
Under 25 minutes, the gun shots subsided. Moments later, the gunmen who retreated are reported to have resurfaced on the compound of the security officer and set it ablaze.
As uncertainty reigned in the neighbourhood, parents were spotted under the rain in search of their children. The kids ran to unknown locations following the gun battles.
A deputation of security forces later returned to the neighbourhood within the day for further patrols. The National Times could not confirm reports of other people’s property set ablaze same day in retaliation for the arson on the house of the police officer.
Yesterday’s arson attack is the first within the Kumba metropolis since the current Anglophone Crisis. Hundreds of city dwellers around the concerned vicinity spent the night elsewhere. Most expressed fears of a similar situation erupting at night.
The attack is a new twist. In the last two months, security officers in Kumba have suffered murderous attacks. Police Commissioner, Joel Parfait Onana Tsimi, and Inspector Susan Nwengala, are among those who have died following such attacks. Others kidnapped such as James Ngong Special Branch Police boss for Kumba II remain in limbo.
However, the city of Kumba remains calm. Security vans remain on the alert with patrols recurrent throughout the day.