Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

19 Athletes Wounded after Blasts at Race in Cameroon

Sat 25 Feb 2023 | 09:16 PM
By Ahmad El-Assasy

According to news sources, several tiny explosions occurred during a running event in western Cameroon on Saturday, injuring about 19 athletes.

A local physician was quoted by Reuters as saying that 19 athletes were receiving treatment for blast wounds on Saturday following several small explosions that occurred during a running competition in a region of western Cameroon where English-speaking separatists were battling government forces.

Authorities in the town of Buea in the South-West Region, where 529 runners were competing in the Mount Cameroon Race of Hope and running up the highest mountain in West and Central Africa, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

One of the separatist militia organisations, the Ambazonia Governing Council, claimed responsibility for the explosions.

"The elite Cameroonian soldiers that were protecting the athletes were our main objective. We won't permit Cameroon to keep occupying our territory "Capo Daniel, a spokesman for the organisation, said Reuters.

In a video that went viral on social media but that Reuters was unable to independently verify, fans are seen cheering on a runner before running for shelter when a nearby mini-explosion occurs. In another part of the route, a different explosion was captured on video as it occurred close to a group of runners.

"Nineteen athletes have been treated for injuries at our facilities. On three of them, we have performed surgery. They are in stable condition, and there have been no reported fatalities "Buea Regional Hospital's Martin Mokake, the director, said Reuters over the phone.

Teachers and lawyers in Cameroon's English-speaking North-West and South-West regions started the separatist insurrection in 2016 when they demonstrated against what they believed to be their marginalisation by the country's dominantly French-speaking administration.