Cameroon’s President Paul Biya has in a statement condemned the killing of seven children in a mass shooting at a school in the Anglophone region.
Twelve children were also injured in the attack which took place on Saturday.
The attack took place in a region where separatist insurgents have been battling government forces since 2017.
The attack has been widely condemned and is likely to pile further pressure on the government to do more to end the conflict.
President Biya said Saturday’s shooting was a “barbaric and cowardly crime against innocent children”.
He said he had instructed security agencies to “ensure that the perpetrators of these despicable acts are apprehended by our defence and security forces and brought to justice”.
I have also instructed that appropriate measures be taken diligently to ensure that the perpetrators of these despicable acts are apprehended by our Defence and Security Forces and brought to justice.#PaulBiya#Cameroon#KumbaMassacre
— President Paul BIYA (@PR_Paul_BIYA) October 26, 2020
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack in the town of Kumba.
The conflict began as protests by people in the English-speaking North West and South West regions of Cameroon over perceived marginalisation by the dominant French-speaking majority.
But it has escalated into violence with separatists demanding independence.
More than 3,000 people have died since 2017, with both sides regularly accused of committing atrocities.