Gunmen opened fire on people as they slept in a town in western Cameroon early on Monday, leaving at least 20 dead, a local government official said.
The attackers struck before dawn and set houses on fire in Mamfe, the administrative head of the surrounding Manyu division said. The town in Cameroon’s South West region is less than 50 km (30 miles) from the border with Nigeria.
Seven people were in hospital and security forces were searching the area, the official Viang Mekala told Reuters. “The situation is under control and the population should not panic,” he said.
Separatists in minority English-speaking parts of Cameroon have been fighting to carve out an independent state called Ambazonia since 2017.
Armed groups have carried out attacks, kidnappings and killings in the North West and South West regions of the predominantly French-speaking African country.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack.