YAOUNDE, Cameroon

Three people, including two Cameroonian soldiers, were killed late Monday in a bomb attack in one of the country’s separatist regions, authorities said on Tuesday.

The incident occurred in Bongongo, the home village of Prime Minister Joseph Ngute, in the South West region of the Central African country.

“Two soldiers were found dead on Monday after a bomb attack in Bongongo,” said Nwafua Lawrence Forwang, a senior civil administrator.

The soldiers were killed on their way to the prime minister’s residence, according to Forwang. They were in charge of security at the premier’s residence in Bongongo.

Later, a civilian was fatally shot by a stray bullet during an exchange of gunfire between the army and armed separatists following the explosion.

The Central African country has been marred by protests and violence since 2016, with residents in English-speaking regions saying they have been marginalized for decades by the central government and the French-speaking majority.

Last week, Cameroon’s army launched a security operation in Bamenda, a city in North West, one of the two anglophone separatist regions. Violence in the regions over the last four years has claimed an estimated 3,000 lives and displaced over 730,000 civilians, according to the Human Rights Watch.

In June, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said for a second year running Cameroon topped the list as the most neglected crisis on the planet in 2019.

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