'Numbed by Savagery and Mayhem' Anti-Corruption Official Says After 5 Children Killed in Cameroon School Shooting

At least five children have been killed after suspected insurgents opened fire at a school in Cameron, according to reports.

Officials told Reuters that at least nine others have been injured during the shooting at the Mother Francisca school in Fiango, Kumba, in Cameroon's Southwest region on Saturday.

The attack was blamed on secessionist insurgents who are hoping to form a breakaway state in Cameroon's English-speaking west as part of the ongoing Anglophone crisis in the country.

"They attacked around noon. They found the children in class and they opened fire on them," Kumba sub-prefect Ali Anougou told Reuters.

Senior Divisional Officer of Meme, Ntou Ndong Chamberlain, also blamed the killing of the children on separatist fighters.

"We have been seriously affected this morning as some Amba(separatist) fighters went in Fiango in a private school and attacked innocent students," he said while reporting that there had been at least four deaths to Journal du Cameroon.

Akere Muna, lawyer and Chairman of the International Anti-Corruption Conference Council, condemned the attack on social media.

"Unimaginable & unacceptable! What happened in Kumba should wake us all up," Muna tweeted. "What barbaric instinct can push any one to go to a school and randomly fire at kids, killing some? Is this who we have become? Numbed by savagery and mayhem we are slowly losing our humanity.

"To the mothers who are stuck with lifeless bodies & all those families forced into mourning we offer our condolences & our prayers," he added. "Suffering & mourning has to stop being lot of some citizens only."

Nigeria-based CNN editor Stephanie Busari added: "I am seeing the most horrific images of children who have been attacked in a school in Cameroon. School should be the one place where children are safe. So many humanitarian crises across Africa right now."

Cameroon has been engaged in a sort of civil war for the past few years as Anglophone secessionists protest against President Paul Biya's French-speaking government.

The militants claim they are discriminated against by the country's French-speaking majority.

The separatists have target villages and schools and part of the ongoing battles which have left thousands dead and forced hundreds of thousands from their homes. The Anglophone secessionists have also imposed curfews and closed schools as part of their protest against the president.

The militants were blamed for the kidnapping of dozens of children from a school in Cameron's northwest region in 2018.

The separatists were reported to believe that schools are part of the government's plans to suppress English speakers.

A sign saying " Speak English or French for a bilingual Cameroon" outside a now abandoned school on May 22, 2019 in a rural part of SW Cameroon. Suspected secessionist insurgents killed five children and badly wounded about nine others after opening fire in a school in the city of Kumba. Giles Clarke/UNOCHA/Getty