Kumba (National Times)-Citizens across the City of Kumba, South West Region of Cameroon lived through turbulence Thursday April 11th as sporadic gun battles pushed many indoors shortly after gunmen kidnapped two teachers from a primary school earlier in the day.
A series of disturbing happenings were reported across the city throughout Thursday. The National Times herein sizes up the bits and pieces of a day that lurked with danger.
Family Recovers Corpse of Wood Splitter
The family of a youngster who died from a gunshot moments after gunmen abducted two teachers from Destiny Nursery and Primary School Bonakama later surfaced and retrieved the corpse.
Locals narrated that, the deceased who was identified as a wood splitter at the time chaos struck was later spotted abandoned lifeless. The National Times could not confirm reports that, he fell into the dragnet of the security after he failed to identify himself.
Some narratives void of confirmation hold that, he attempted escaping from security custody as a raid was underway to get hold of those who attacked the school. The National Times cannot ascertain what later transpired afterwards.
The mother of the deceased is said to have knelt at the spot where the corpse was abandoned, said a few words before the remains were taken away. The deceased‘s national identification card was said to still be in the process of being established. He had reportedly been warned against leaving home early Thursday.
Findings reveal that, the deceased was born and named Bekondo Orlando. His acquaintances and schoolmates nicknamed him ‘Becks’.They identify him as an ex-student of the Cameroon College of arts and Science (CCAS) and the Presbyterian High School (PHS) all in Kumba. He was a holder of the GCE Advanced Level Certificate. Some of those who know the deceased claimed he had suffered a minor mental problem not unrelated to drug abuse.
Security officer(s), Separatists Feared wounded.
While the city was still in the shock, sporadic gun battles erupted across different neighbourhoods in the afternoon. This atmosphere stayed on till dusk.
In Fiango, Sonang Fang, Kosala and Station neighbourhood, heated gunshots echoed for hours. Most people stayed indoors. Students who escaped from school in assorted attires crisscrossed grave paths to get to their various homes.
At sundown, reports emerged of at least one security officer wounded in the course of the battle. The officer is said to be responding to treatment. However, our security sources maintained sealed lips over the number of casualties.
Separatists’ whom the security forces were battling are equally reported to have suffered casualties in the course of the day’s battles.
Many inhabitants went to bed early in the neighbourhoods that recorded gunfire exchanges. However, a handful of bikers were still in circulation in some of the vicinities as the guns coughed.
In the course of the same Thursday, some students are reported to have survived being abducted by unknown men around the Buea road area. A source told The National Times that ‘ my neighbour’s child said she survived because she stayed back to get portable water from someone’s house. As she hurried to meet her friends, the story of how gunmen on a bike almost kidnapped others was recounted”.
Before this, a food vendor reportedly survived abduction after an alarm was raised by people at a beer palour. The gunmen on a bike went underground for fear of mob action. Mob justice is said to be on the rise across the city against gunmen who harass individuals and families for money in the name of support to separatists’.
Eyewitnesses reveal that, another set of youngsters later visited the said beer palour promising mayhem to the woman who frustrated the abduction.
In the meantime, calm has returned to Kumba. There has been no development in relation to the two teachers kidnapped from the primary school early Thursday.